abor·​tive | \ ə-ˈbȯr-tiv How to pronounce abortive (audio) \

Definition of abortive

1 obsolete : prematurely born
3 : imperfectly formed or developed
4 : tending to cut short

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Other Words from abortive

abortively adverb
abortiveness noun

Examples of abortive in a Sentence

an abortive attempt to recover the sunken pirate ship
Recent Examples on the Web Airbnb has also banned from the platform all people associated with hate groups or involved in last week’s abortive insurrection at the Capitol. Washington Post, "Airbnb to cancel all D.C. reservations during inauguration week," 11 Jan. 2021 After abortive attempts to withdraw the $20,000 at the Miami Casino and a Walmart in North Miami, Splash Zanotti returned with the wife to the couple’s home. Mario Ariza, sun-sentinel.com, "Rapper Splash Zanotti and two others accused of kidnapping couple for $20,000," 26 Dec. 2020 The central bank and state banks wasted at least $100bn in precious foreign reserves in an abortive attempt to salvage the currency. The Economist, "Recep Tayyip Erdogan faces up to economic facts," 21 Nov. 2020 It’s certainly no better for national security than Microsoft’s abortive bid. Jimmy Quinn, National Review, "Trump Should Make Good on His Threat to Ban TikTok," 16 Sep. 2020 Under then-chairman Wang Dongming, a U.S.-educated financier who admired Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citics struck an abortive cross-investment deal with Bear Stearns Cos. before the latter’s near-collapse. Quentin Webb, WSJ, "How China’s Top Broker Tamed the ‘Insane Asylum’ of Hong Kong Finance," 7 Sep. 2020 Virgin empire has faced many challenges in its five-decade history, from high-profile legal clashes with British Airways and failed bids to run the U.K. national lottery to abortive forays into vodka, cola and bridal wear. Benjamin Stupples, Bloomberg.com, "Branson’s Airline Saved as Ruling Caps Race Against Clock," 1 Sep. 2020 Communist forces occupied the region following their seizure of China in 1949 and 10 years later crushed an abortive uprising, sending spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, and more than 80,000 Tibetans into exile in India and other countries. Washington Post, "China threatens visa restrictions on US officials over Tibet," 8 July 2020 Senior editor Ezra Dyer's abortive quest for a Jeep Gladiator offers anecdotal proof: Last summer, he was told he'd have to pay the sticker price to fulfill his off-road fantasies. Annie White, Car and Driver, "Now Is the Best Time to Buy a Car," 24 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abortive.' 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 abortive

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for abortive

Middle English abortyffe, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French abbortif, borrowed from Latin abortīvus, from abortus, past participle of aborīrī "to miscarry, abort entry 1" + -īvus -ive

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Time Traveler for abortive

Time Traveler

The first known use of abortive was in the 15th century

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Statistics for abortive

Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Abortive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abortive. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for abortive


How to pronounce abortive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of abortive

: failing to achieve the desired result : not successful


abor·​tive | \ ə-ˈbȯrt-iv How to pronounce abortive (audio) \

Medical Definition of abortive

1 : imperfectly formed or developed : rudimentary
b : cutting short abortive treatment of pneumonia
c : failing to develop completely or typically an abortive case of poliomyelitis

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