from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To give birth prematurely or before term; miscarry.
  • intransitive v. To cease growth before full development or maturation.
  • intransitive v. To terminate an operation or procedure, as with a project, missile, airplane, or space vehicle, before completion.
  • transitive v. To cause to terminate (a pregnancy) prematurely, especially before the fetus is viable.
  • transitive v. To cause the expulsion of (an embryo or fetus) before it is viable.
  • transitive v. To give premature birth to (an embryo or fetus).
  • transitive v. To interfere with the development of; conclude prematurely: abort plans for a corporate takeover.
  • transitive v. To terminate before completion: abort a trip because of illness; abort a takeoff.
  • transitive v. To stop the progress of (a disease, for example).
  • n. The act of terminating an operation or procedure, as with a project, missile, airplane, or space vehicle, before completion.
  • n. Computer Science A procedure to terminate execution of a program when an unrecoverable error or malfunction occurs.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The function used to abort a process.
  • n. An event involving the abort of a process.
  • v. To cause a premature termination of a foetus; to bring forth offspring prematurely; to end a pregnancy before term.
  • v. To terminate a process prior to completion.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An untimely birth.
  • n. An aborted offspring.
  • intransitive v. To miscarry; to bring forth young prematurely.
  • intransitive v. To become checked in normal development, so as either to remain rudimentary or shrink away wholly; to become sterile.
  • intransitive v. to stop, cease, or fail prior to normal completion.
  • transitive v. to cause (an action or process) to stop at an early stage, or before normal completion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To miscarry in giving birth.
  • To become aborted or abortive; appear or remain in a rudimentary or undeveloped state: as, organs liable to abort.
  • To render abortive; check or arrest the development of: as, to abort a fever.
  • n. An abortion.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cease development, die, and be aborted
  • v. terminate a pregnancy by undergoing an abortion
  • n. the act of terminating a project or procedure before it is completed
  • v. terminate before completion


Latin abortāre, frequentative of aborīrī, abort-, to disappear, miscarry : ab-, away; see ab-1 + orīrī, to appear; see er-1 in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Latin abortus, perfect active participle of aborior ("miscarry"), formed from ab + orior ("come into being"). (Wiktionary)
From Latin abortare, from abortus, from aboriri ("miscarry"), from ab- ("not") + oriri ("come into being, arise, appear").[3][4] (Wiktionary)



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