Definition of abort in English:

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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.
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 flight crew aborted the take-off
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.
halt, stop, end, call off, cut short, discontinue, terminate, arrest, suspend, check, nullify
informal scrub, axe, pull the plug on
fail, come to a halt, end, terminate, miscarry, go wrong, not succeed, fall through, break down, be frustrated, collapse, founder, come to grief, fizzle out, flop


informal or technical
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'.

Words that rhyme with abort

apport, assort, athwart, aught, besought, bethought, bort, bought, brought, caught, cavort, comport, consort, contort, Cort, court, distraught, escort, exhort, export, extort, fort, fought, fraught, import, methought, misreport, mort, naught, nought, Oort, ought, outfought, port, Porte, purport, quart, rort, short, snort, sort, sought, sport, support, swart, taught, taut, thought, thwart, tort, transport, wart, wrought

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