1 of 2


aborn·​ing ə-ˈbȯr-niŋ How to pronounce aborning (audio)
: while being born or produced
a resolution that died aborning


2 of 2


: being born or produced
the aborning fiasco

Did you know?

Aborning is a native of U.S. soil; its arrival is marked in the early 20th century dialect of the rural South, and it quickly found its way to the crowded cities and towns of the industrial north. (We don't know exactly when it was conceived, but it came to the attention of the editors at Merriam-Webster in 1916.) "Aborning" combines the prefix a-, meaning "in the process of," and "borning," a dialectal word meaning "birth." "Borning" itself is simply the gerund, or noun form, of the verb "born," a term that was used by, among others, William Faulkner: "The talk ... went here and there about the town, dying and borning again like a wind or a fire" (Light in August, 1932).

Examples of aborning in a Sentence

Adjective the new governor will have to deal with the state's aborning fiscal crisis

Word History



a- entry 1 + born (taken as a simple verb) + -ing entry 3


derivative of aborning entry 1

First Known Use


1837, in the meaning defined above


1943, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of aborning was in 1837


Dictionary Entries Near aborning

Cite this Entry

“Aborning.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aborning. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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