abortive

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Its earlier life was shaped by government contracts, and in 2013 it was bought by Google’s parent company, as part of an abortive attempt for the search giant to enter the robotics industry. James Vincent, The Verge, "Boston Dynamics robots are preparing to leave the lab — is the world ready?," 17 July 2019 In retirement, Iacocca joined with the late billionaire Kirk Kerkorian in an abortive effort to take over Chrysler, made an unlikely assortment of investments and went through a second divorce. Donald Woutat, latimes.com, "Lee Iacocca, father of the Ford Mustang who later rescued Chrysler, dies at 94," 2 July 2019 Oh, also: the SEC has subpoenaed both Silver Lake and Goldman Sachs for materials on their Tesla encounter, since the two were involved in Musk’s abortive effort, according to The New York Times. Elizabeth Lopatto, The Verge, "SpaceX gets into space tourism while the Department of Justice gets into Tesla," 21 Sep. 2018 The abortive coup Saturday in the Amhara region was led by a high-ranking military officer and others in the armed forces, said Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who addressed the nation on state TV at 2 a.m. while wearing fatigues. oregonlive.com, "Ethiopia says military chief killed, regional coup failed," 23 June 2019 The abortive coup Saturday in the Amhara region was led by a high-ranking military officer and others in the armed forces, said Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who addressed the nation on state TV at 2 a.m. while wearing fatigues. Elias Meseret, BostonGlobe.com, "Ethiopia says military chief killed, regional coup failed," 23 June 2019 Haunted by an abortive coup in 2016 (after which the government arrested some 60,000 people), the president has surrounded himself with yes-men and family members. The Economist, "Turkey’s President Erdogan may face a mutiny in his own party," 6 June 2019 And before that, another abortive approach led Williams to derive a breakthrough proof in a related domain of computer science called circuit complexity. Quanta Magazine, "A New Map Traces the Limits of Computation," 29 Sep. 2015 Even before its establishment in 1913, during earlier, abortive attempts to create a permanent U.S. central bank, sniping from the White House and Congress was frequent. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Why Trump’s Fed Bashing Is Encouraging," 11 Oct. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about abortive

Statistics for abortive

Last Updated

24 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for abortive

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for abortive

abortive

adjective
How to pronounce abortive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of abortive

: failing to achieve the desired result : not successful

abortive

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on abortive

What made you want to look up abortive? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

not being in agreement or harmony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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