abor·​ti·​fa·​cient ə-ˌbȯr-tə-ˈfā-shənt How to pronounce abortifacient (audio)
: an agent (such as a drug) that induces abortion
abortifacient adjective

Examples of abortifacient in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Indeed, 19 states have already prohibited telemedicine visits for abortifacients. Joshua Cohen, Forbes, 10 Feb. 2024 Banks don’t operate on fishing vessels or dispense abortifacients. Alan S. Blinder, WSJ, 20 Dec. 2023 Within 48 hours of taking mifepristone, the patient is instructed to take misoprostol, the second chemical abortifacient, to induce uterine contractions to expel the pregnancy. Kaelan Deese, Washington Examiner, 6 Nov. 2023 In all, at least a quarter of the channels appear to be hawking more than just abortifacients. WIRED, 23 June 2023 Like other prescription drugs, though, abortifacients are legal in some countries but not others. WIRED, 23 June 2023 In the 1930s there were some rulings around the Comstock Act that broadened its application to different kinds of birth control but at the same time limited how the law could be used if people were sending abortifacients for unlawful uses. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, 28 Apr. 2023 This is the important context for the donnybrook over the abortifacient mifepristone, which the FDA has authorized through the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. The Editorial Board, wsj.com, 9 Apr. 2023 In the United States, a relevant set of issues might include support for decriminalizing marijuana, reining in big tech companies, confronting the OPEC oil cartel and the Saudi regime, and enshrining legal guarantees of access to contraception, fertility treatments, and abortifacient drugs. Alexander Burns, The New York Review of Books, 29 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'abortifacient.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from New Latin abortifacient-, abortifaciens, from Latin abortus "miscarriage, abortion" (from aborīrī "to pass away, (of a fetus) miscarry, be aborted" + -tus, suffix of verbal action) + -i- -i- + -facient-, -faciens -facient — more at abort entry 1

First Known Use

1840, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of abortifacient was in 1840

Dictionary Entries Near abortifacient

Cite this Entry

“Abortifacient.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abortifacient. Accessed 25 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition


1 of 2 adjective
abor·​ti·​fa·​cient ə-ˌbȯrt-ə-ˈfā-shənt How to pronounce abortifacient (audio)
: inducing abortion


2 of 2 noun
: an agent (as a drug) that induces abortion
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!