Definition of abort in English:


Line breaks: abort
Pronunciation: /əˈbɔːt


[with object]
  • 1Carry out or undergo the abortion of (a fetus): Louisiana allows women to abort an embryo up to 12 weeks old [no object]: the right to abort must remain a key element of a woman’s ‘reproductive rights’
    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.
    terminate, end; have an abortion
  • 1.1 [no object] (Of a pregnant woman or female animal) have a miscarriage, with loss of the fetus: an organism that infects sheep and can cause pregnant ewes to abort
    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.
    miscarry, have a miscarriage
  • 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.


informal or • technical Back to top  
  • 1An act of aborting a flight, space mission, or other enterprise: 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.
  • 1.1An aborted enterprise: I’ve wasted almost a year on an abort
    More example sentences
    • He had told him to be five minutes early and if Smolensk failed to show up, that would count as an abort.


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

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