ab·​o·​li·​tion | \ ˌa-bə-ˈli-shᵊn How to pronounce abolition (audio) \

Definition of abolition

1 : the act of officially ending or stopping something : the act of abolishing something abolition of the death penalty
2 : the act of officially ending slavery a proponent of abolition

Other Words from abolition

abolitionary \ ˌa-​bə-​ˈli-​shə-​ˌner-​ē How to pronounce abolition (audio) , -​ˌne-​rē \ adjective

Examples of abolition in a Sentence

the abolition of a law calls for the abolition of the death penalty
Recent Examples on the Web Cullors says her own definition of abolition has changed over the past few years. Evan Nicole Brown, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Jan. 2022 As too few note, the Constitution permitted Congress to restrict the US slave trade short of abolition before 1808. Sean Wilentz, The New York Review of Books, 13 Jan. 2022 The new doc comes on the heels of the abolition of Britney Spears' 13-year restrictive conservatorship examined in a previous two-episode installment of the series. Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, 18 Nov. 2021 For Purnell, the argument and practice of abolition cannot be divorced from how and where capital and resources are directed. Kovie Biakolo, Essence, 5 Oct. 2021 The annual June 19 anniversary of the abolition of slavery, known as Juneteenth, was declared a federal holiday this year. Beth Mlady, cleveland, 24 Sep. 2021 This Fall’s Open Edu semester will explore themes of abolition, dismantling toxic masculinity, white supremacy, and the correlation to the beauty industry. Cassell Ferere, Forbes, 9 Sep. 2021 And such feminists tend to be dismissive of nonbinary people, who, in their refusal of gender distinction, have a good claim to being the truest vanguard of gender abolition. Amia Srinivasan, The New Yorker, 6 Sep. 2021 For many, Emancipation Day — a commemoration of the abolition of slavery across the British empire on August 1, 1834 — begs the question: What does freedom mean for Black people across the diaspora? Huda Hassan, refinery29.com, 30 July 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abolition.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of abolition

1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for abolition

borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French abolition, borrowed from Latin abolitiōn-, abolitiō, from aboli-, variant stem of abolēre "to abolish" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns

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Time Traveler for abolition

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The first known use of abolition was in 1529

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Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Abolition.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abolition. Accessed 20 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for abolition


ab·​o·​li·​tion | \ ˌa-bə-ˈli-shən How to pronounce abolition (audio) \

Kids Definition of abolition

: a complete elimination of the abolition of war

More from Merriam-Webster on abolition

Nglish: Translation of abolition for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abolition for Arabic Speakers


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