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[uh-bol-ish] /əˈbɒl ɪʃ/
verb (used with object)
to do away with; put an end to; annul; make void:
to abolish slavery.
Origin of abolish
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Middle French aboliss-, long stem of abolir < Latin abolēre to destroy, efface, put an end to; change of conjugation perhaps by association with Latin abolitiō abolition
Related forms
abolishable, adjective
abolisher, noun
abolishment, noun
unabolishable, adjective
unabolished, adjective
well-abolished, adjective
suppress, nullify, cancel; annihilate, obliterate, extinguish; exterminate, extirpate, eliminate. Abolish, eradicate, stamp out mean to do away completely with something. To abolish is to cause to cease, often by a summary order: to abolish a requirement. Stamp out implies forcibly making an end to something considered undesirable or harmful: to stamp out the opium traffic. Eradicate (literally, to tear out by the roots ), a formal word, suggests extirpation, leaving no vestige or trace: to eradicate all use of child labor.
establish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for abolishment
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Revolution was responsible for its having withered away, as it was also for the abolishment of the see of Macon.

  • It indicates the way, too, for the abolishment of the peculiar institution of Utah.

    The Life of John Taylor B. H. Roberts
  • The Constitution provides for the establishment of new ministries and the abolishment or combining of old ones.

    Area Handbook for Albania Eugene K. Keefe
  • Half for the temple and half for himself; and the abolishment of the seven leopards.

    The Adventures of Kathlyn Harold MacGrath
  • They denounced it as class legislation unjustly favoring the few, and urged its abolishment.

    Manual of Ship Subsidies Edwin M. Bacon
  • They did not ask for the abolishment of classification based upon merit, age or experience.

  • Whenever you hear of a Clancy obstructin' the abolishment of existin' governments you may notify me by return mail.'

British Dictionary definitions for abolishment


(transitive) to do away with (laws, regulations, customs, etc); put an end to
Derived Forms
abolishable, adjective
abolisher, noun
abolishment, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French aboliss- (lengthened stem of abolir), ultimately from Latin abolēre to destroy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for abolishment



mid-15c., from Middle French aboliss-, present participle stem of abolir "to abolish" (15c.), from Latin abolere "destroy, cause to die out, retard the growth of," perhaps from ab- "from" (see ab-) + adolere "to grow," from PIE *ol-eye-, causative of root *al- "to grow, nourish" (see old), and perhaps formed as an antonym to adolere. But the Latin word rather could be from a root in common with Greek ollymi, apollymi "destroy." Tucker writes that there has been a confusion of forms in Latin, based on similar roots, one meaning "to grow," the other "to destroy." Application to persons and concrete objects has long been obsolete. Related: Abolished; abolishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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