synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of abortion in English

English Online Dictionary. What means abortion‎? What does abortion mean?



From Latin abortiōnem (miscarriage, abortion), from aborior (to miscarry). Equivalent to abort +‎ -ion. Displaced earlier Middle English abort (abortion), from the same Latin origin.


  • (US) IPA(key): /əˈbɔɹ.ʃn̩/, enPR: əʹbôrshən
  • Rhymes: -ɔː(ɹ)ʃən


abortion (countable and uncountable, plural abortions)

  1. (medicine) The expulsion from the womb of a foetus or embryo before it is fully developed, with loss of the foetus; either naturally as a spontaneous abortion (now usually called a miscarriage), or deliberately as an induced abortion. [from 16th c.]
    • 1809, William Nicholson, The British Encyclopaedia, vol IV:
      At any time after impregnation, abortion may take place: it is one of the most common complaints of pregnancy, whence it is a matter of no small consequence that every practitioner should well understand it.
    • 2017, Ben Jacobs, The Guardian, 5 October:
      Representative Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania will resign from Congress after claims that the anti-abortion Republican had urged a woman he was having an extramarital affair with to have an abortion.
  2. (now rare) An aborted foetus; an abortus. [from 16th c.]
    • 1791, James Boswell, Life of Johnson, Oxford 2008, p. 657:
      ‘It seems too hairy for an abortion, and too small for a mature birth.’
    • 1929, Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own:
      The Fascist poem, one may fear, will be a horrid little abortion such as one sees in a glass jar in the museum of some county town.
  3. (figuratively) A misshapen person or thing; a monstrosity. [from 16th c.]
  4. (figuratively) Failure or abandonment of a project, promise, goal etc. [from 17th c.]
  5. (biology) Arrest of development of any organ, so that it remains an imperfect formation or is absorbed. [from 18th c.]
  6. The cessation of an illness or disease at a very early stage.


  • abort (obsolete), abortus
  • (induced abortion): aborticide, feticide, foeticide, termination (of pregnancy)
  • (act of terminating pregnancy): aborticide, embryoctony, feticide, foeticide, termination (of pregnancy)
  • (spontaneous abortion): miscarriage, misbirth

Derived terms


Further reading

  • abortion on Wikipedia.Wikipedia


  • boration, orbation, rainboot

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.