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abate

[uh-beyt]
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verb (used with object), a·bat·ed, a·bat·ing.
  1. to reduce in amount, degree, intensity, etc.; lessen; diminish: to abate a tax; to abate one's enthusiasm.
  2. Law.
    1. to put an end to or suppress (a nuisance).
    2. to suspend or extinguish (an action).
    3. to annul (a writ).
  3. to deduct or subtract: to abate part of the cost.
  4. to omit: to abate all mention of names.
  5. to remove, as in stone carving, or hammer down, as in metalwork, (a portion of a surface) in order to produce a figure or pattern in low relief.
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verb (used without object), a·bat·ed, a·bat·ing.
  1. to diminish in intensity, violence, amount, etc.: The storm has abated. The pain in his shoulder finally abated.
  2. Law. to end; become null and void.
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Origin of abate

1300–50; Middle English < Middle French abatre to beat down, equivalent to a- a-5 + batre < Late Latin batere for Latin battuere to beat; a- perhaps also understood as a-3
Related formsa·bat·a·ble, adjectivea·bat·er; Law. a·ba·tor, nounun·a·bat·a·ble, adjectiveun·a·bat·ing, adjectiveun·a·bat·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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1. decrease, weaken. 6. subside.

Antonyms

1, 6. increase, intensify.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for abates

Historical Examples

  • In comes Ailie: one look at her quiets and abates the eager students.

    Spare Hours

    John Brown

  • In comes Ailie; one look at her quiets and abates the eager students.

  • My dear, I have many lonely hours; I have much suffering, which abates enthusiasm.

    Missy

    Miriam Coles Harris

  • Whether or not it abates one half the guilt, I make the confession.

  • The bedchambers have low windows, which abates the dignity of the house.


British Dictionary definitions for abates

abate

verb
  1. to make or become less in amount, intensity, degree, etcthe storm has abated
  2. (tr) law
    1. to remove, suppress, or terminate (a nuisance)
    2. to suspend or extinguish (a claim or action)
    3. to annul (a writ)
  3. (intr) law (of a writ, legal action, etc) to become null and void
  4. (tr) to subtract or deduct, as part of a price
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French abatre to beat down, fell
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

Word Origin and History for abates

abate

v.

"put an end to" (c.1300); "to grow less, diminish in power or influence" (early 14c.), from Old French abattre "beat down, cast down," from Vulgar Latin *abbatere, from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + battuere "to beat" (see batter (v.)). Secondary sense of "to fell, slaughter" is in abatis and abattoir. Related: Abated; abating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper