Definition of abort in English:


Syllabification: a·bort
Pronunciation: /əˈbôrt


[with object]
1Carry out or undergo the abortion of (a fetus).
More example sentences
  • Most trisomy fetuses are spontaneously aborted.
  • Scientists were harvesting these stem cells from embryos left over from IVF treatments or using aborted embryos.
  • A suit of this kind, considered a case of ‘wrongful birth,’ assumes that the obstetrician's negligence denied the parents the option of aborting a defective fetus.
1.1 [no object] (Of a pregnant woman or female animal) have a miscarriage, with loss of the fetus.
More example sentences
  • If an ultrasound reveals that a fetus is female, the woman may abort.
  • Many of these women aborted not to please themselves, but to preserve relationships: with their mothers, with their families in general, with their boyfriends.
  • But most of all, what stood out was the fact that these women aborted to preserve relationships.
1.2 [no object] Biology (Of an embryonic organ or organism) remain undeveloped; fail to mature.
More example sentences
  • If endosperm cell division is halted at an early stage, kernels abort and fail to set seed.
  • Pistils aborting prior to silique formation are indicated with arrows.
  • However, in the inbred line 66% of second-ear branches aborted, and no plants had more than two mature ears.
2Bring to a premature end because of a problem or fault: the pilot aborted his landing
More example sentences
  • If a small bird makes a dent in a plane in flight, the pilot may abort the flight and bring the aircraft back for inspection.
  • The MyTravel pilot aborted take-off and performed an emergency stop of his Airbus A321 craft.
  • Hundreds of passengers were on board and only the quick reactions of one of the pilots, who aborted his take-off after reaching more than 115 mph, averted disaster.


informal or technical Back to top  
An act of aborting a flight, space mission, or other enterprise: there was an abort because of bad weather
More example sentences
  • Because of bad timing and aborts, squadrons couldn't find each other.
  • A mission abort was a serious issue and considered unacceptable.
  • Prognostics capability will make it possible to replace about-to-fail parts before they fail, reducing system failures, in-flight aborts, and aircraft accidents.


mid 16th century: from Latin aboriri 'miscarry', from ab- 'away, from' + oriri 'be born'.

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