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

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 That lack of infantry, so evident during Russia’s abortive attempt to occupy Kyiv early in the current campaign, means that an attacking Russian force often struggles to defend its rear. David Axe, Forbes, 5 May 2022 The ads were signed by none other than Donald Trump as part of his abortive presidential campaign. Craig Unger, The New Republic, 2 Mar. 2022 Below is a breakdown of the most common abortive and preventative treatment options. Abigail Libers, SELF, 9 Mar. 2022 Meanwhile, SpaceX disclosed in 2020 that each Falcon 9 launch costs around $30 million so, in total, this abortive operation could have cost SpaceX around $50 million in sunk costs. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 10 Feb. 2022 The consumer goods giant is underperforming at the moment, and investors strongly opposed its abortive plan to buy GSK’s health care business. David Meyer, Fortune, 24 Jan. 2022 Investigators for the House committee are also looking into the abortive effort by Trump supporters to persuade Vice President Mike Pence to accept rival slates of pro-Trump electors in states Trump lost. Richard Galant, CNN, 23 Jan. 2022 In September, 2020, as New York City was making its first abortive attempt to fully reopen its public schools, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the creation of the Department of Education COVID-19 Response Situation Room. Jessica Winter, The New Yorker, 23 Dec. 2021 Plant and Krauss reveal details of an abortive collaboration with Daniel Landis circa 2010. Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, 24 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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

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Dictionary Entries Near abortive

abortion pill



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Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Abortive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abortive. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for abortive


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

More from Merriam-Webster on abortive

Nglish: Translation of abortive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abortive for Arabic Speakers


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