Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1500-1600
Language: Latin
Origin: abortare, from abortus, past participle of aboriri 'to give birth to a dead baby', from ab- 'away' + oriri 'to rise, be born'


1 [transitive] to stop an activity because it would be difficult or dangerous to continue it:
The rescue mission had to be aborted.
2 [transitive] to deliberately end a pregnancy when the baby is still too young to live
3 [intransitive] if a pregnant woman or animal aborts, the baby is born too early and is dead when it is born:
The disease causes pregnant animals to abort.

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