abor·​ti·​fa·​cient | \ ə-ˌbȯr-tə-ˈfā-shənt \

Definition of abortifacient

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

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Other Words from abortifacient

abortifacient adjective

Examples of abortifacient in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Nowhere in any of its representations in court does the university distinguish between its sincerely held religious beliefs regarding contraception and those regarding abortifacients. Elizabeth Kirk, National Review, "The Notre Dame Compromise," 10 Feb. 2018 The rule on moral objections cited a case brought against the Obama administration in 2015 by the March for Life, an antiabortion group that contends certain types of emergency contraception could be abortifacients. Louise Radnofsky, WSJ, "Trump Administration Rolls Back Obama Rule on Birth-Control Coverage," 6 Oct. 2017 These groups also alleged that the mandate required them to subsidize abortifacients—even though the contraception in question did not, in fact, induce abortions. Mark Joseph Stern, Slate Magazine, "Our Bodies, Their Choice," 6 Oct. 2017 This fake science also justifies the use of abortifacients and early human embryos in experimental research in human cloning, embryonic-stem-cell therapy, and genetic engineering, including synthetic biology, nanotechnology, and gene splicing. Brooke Stanton, National Review, "Sofia Vergara and the Fraudulent Science of ‘Pre-embryos’," 5 Sep. 2017 Catholic moralists oppose the administration of methotrexate as an abortifacient even in the case of ectopic pregnancy, and Catholic hospitals do not provide it as a treatment. Joanna Petrone, Longreads, "Pregnant, then Ruptured," 18 Aug. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of abortifacient

1857, 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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Time Traveler for abortifacient

The first known use of abortifacient was in 1857

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More Definitions for abortifacient


abor·​ti·​fa·​cient | \ ə-ˌbȯrt-ə-ˈfā-shənt \

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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