abol·​ish | \ ə-ˈbä-lish How to pronounce abolish (audio) \
abolished; abolishing; abolishes

Definition of abolish

transitive verb

: to end the observance or effect of (something, such as a law) : to completely do away with (something) : annul abolish a law abolish slavery

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Other Words from abolish

abolishable \ ə-​ˈbä-​li-​shə-​bəl How to pronounce abolish (audio) \ adjective
abolisher noun
abolishment \ ə-​ˈbä-​lish-​mənt How to pronounce abolish (audio) \ noun

Examples of abolish in a Sentence

He is in favor of abolishing the death penalty. the U.S. abolished slavery by constitutional amendment on December 6, 1865
Recent Examples on the Web Global efforts to reduce sanitary products’ onerous pricing and the stigma around menstruation have been slowly gaining ground since 2004, when Kenya became the first country to abolish its tax on those products. Washington Post, 11 Oct. 2021 Doing so would require Democratic senators to revise or abolish the filibuster, something that Sinema and many of her Senate colleagues have hitherto shown no willingness to do. Jason Linkins, The New Republic, 9 Oct. 2021 Signatories include local business leaders from Ohio, where efforts are underway to abolish capital punishment. Jena Mcgregor, Forbes, 7 Oct. 2021 Voting rights groups have been lobbying Democrats, particularly West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, to reform or abolish the filibuster. Jeff Barker, baltimoresun.com, 6 Oct. 2021 The revelations have renewed calls to reform international tax laws and abolish popular tax-avoidance tools like trusts and shell corporations. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, 5 Oct. 2021 Following the death of Prince Philip, family scandals and growing cries to abolish the monarchy, Prince William's role within the royal family is more critical than ever. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, 30 Sep. 2021 His secretary of energy, for instance, once vowed to abolish the Department of Energy. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 27 Sep. 2021 In 1792, the French National Convention voted to abolish the monarchy. BostonGlobe.com, 21 Sep. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abolish

Middle English abolysshen, borrowed from Middle French aboliss-, stem of abolir "to abolish," borrowed from Latin abolēre "to destroy, efface, put an end to," perhaps formed from abolēscere "to shrivel up, be effaced, fall into disuse," from ab- ab- + -ol-, medial form of the base of alere "to nourish, bring up" + -ēsc-, inchoative suffix — more at old entry 1

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Time Traveler for abolish

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

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Abolish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abolish. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for abolish


abol·​ish | \ ə-ˈbä-lish How to pronounce abolish (audio) \
abolished; abolishing

Kids Definition of abolish

: to do away with : put an end to abolish discrimination


transitive verb

Legal Definition of abolish

: to end the observance or effect of : annul

More from Merriam-Webster on abolish

Nglish: Translation of abolish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abolish for Arabic Speakers


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