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abate

Syllabification: a·bate
Pronunciation: /əˈbāt
 
/

Definition of abate in English:

verb

[no object]
1(Of something perceived as hostile, threatening, or negative) become less intense or widespread: the storm suddenly abated
More example sentences
  • November to April is the wet season but heavy tropical storms can abate as suddenly as they arrive.
  • The spring saw the quick end of major combat abroad, while the threat of a widespread SARS epidemic abated.
  • The challenges of rising health care costs and Medicare premiums will not suddenly abate.
Synonyms
subside, die down/away/out, lessen, ease (off), let up, decrease, diminish, moderate, decline, fade, dwindle, recede, tail off, peter out, taper off, wane, ebb, weaken, come to an end
archaic remit
1.1 [with object] Cause to become smaller or less intense: nothing abated his crusading zeal
More example sentences
  • Space constraint did not abate their zeal to get a glimpse of the amazing cultural divergence of the nation.
  • Let's work on abating the mosquitoes in this environment.
  • In the same breath I say the government and police are the ones responsible for solving or abating the situation.
1.2 [with object] Law Lessen, reduce, or remove (especially a nuisance): this action would not have been sufficient to abate the odor nuisance
More example sentences
  • The plaintiffs sought an injunction requiring the defendants to abate the nuisance as well as damages.
  • This defendant was required to abate the nuisance by noise identified in the abatement notice.
  • A distinction is drawn between Abatement Notices which require works to be done and those which merely require the recipient to abate the identified nuisance.
Synonyms
decrease, lessen, diminish, reduce, moderate, ease, soothe, dampen, calm, tone down, allay, temper

Origin

Middle English (in the legal sense 'put a stop to (a nuisance)'): from Old French abatre 'to fell', from a- (from Latin ad 'to, at') + batre 'to beat' (from Latin battere, battuere 'to beat').

More
  • bated from (Middle English):

    A shortened form of abated (Middle English), meaning ‘reduced, lessened’. The idea behind the phrase with bated breath is that the anxiety or excitement you experience while waiting for something to happen is so great that you almost stop breathing. The word is sometimes spelled baited, from a mistaken association with a fisherman's bait. It came from the Old French abattre ‘to fell’, from Latin ad ‘to, at’ and batt(u)ere ‘to beat’ which is also the source of abattoir, which to some extent replaced the medieval term slaughterhouse in the early 19th century.

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