abor·​ti·​fa·​cient | \ ə-ˌbȯr-tə-ˈfā-shənt How to pronounce abortifacient (audio) \

Definition of abortifacient

: an agent (such as a drug) that induces abortion

Other Words from abortifacient

abortifacient adjective

Examples of abortifacient in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The police reaction to protests following police murders of George Floyd, Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor and other Black people also highlights that chemical, abortifacient weapons are used discriminately against Black protesters. Matthew R. Francis, Scientific American, 20 July 2022 Sandra Cardona, whose group Necesito Abortar Mexico is part of the Mexican abortifacient network, says her group alone received more than 70 requests for help from women in the US in the week following the Supreme Court ruling. David Shortell, CNN, 13 July 2022 The author mentioned in passing that parsley was an abortifacient, and a poison in great quantities. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 26 June 2022 Enter Norma, a thirteen-year-old girl who becomes pregnant after being serially raped by her stepfather, and receives an abortifacient from the Witch. The New Yorker, 2 May 2022 Kamala Harris, in her role as attorney general of California, joined an amicus brief from the attorney general of Massachusetts arguing that Hobby Lobby should be required to provide abortifacient coverage for its employees. Sean Spicer, National Review, 22 Oct. 2021 In one of the cases Walker referenced, Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., ADF represented the home goods store from an Obama-era mandate that would require it to buy abortifacient contraceptives. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, 15 Apr. 2020 And nationwide, antiabortion activists are gearing up for another round of efforts to curb access, with parental-notification requirements and bans on abortifacient medications. Tim Craig, Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2019 The Obama Administration tried to force the Catholic nuns and other religious groups to provide their employees with contraceptives, including abortifacients, in violation of their beliefs. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 18 Jan. 2019 See More

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

First Known Use of abortifacient

1840, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abortifacient

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

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The first known use of abortifacient was in 1840

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Last Updated

31 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Abortifacient.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abortifacient. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for abortifacient


abor·​ti·​fa·​cient | \ ə-ˌbȯrt-ə-ˈfā-shənt How to pronounce abortifacient (audio) \

Medical Definition of abortifacient

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: inducing abortion



Medical Definition of abortifacient (Entry 2 of 2)

: an agent (as a drug) that induces abortion


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