[ uh-bawr-tiv ]
/ əˈbɔr tɪv /


failing to succeed; unsuccessful: an abortive rebellion; an abortive scheme.
born prematurely.
imperfectly developed; rudimentary.
  1. producing or intended to produce abortion; abortifacient.
  2. acting to halt progress of a disease.
Pathology. (of the course of a disease) short and mild without the usual, pronounced clinical symptoms.
Botany. (of seeds or pollen grains) imperfect; unable to germinate.

Origin of abortive

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English word from Latin word abortīvus. See abort, -ive
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for abortive

British Dictionary definitions for abortive


/ (əˈbɔːtɪv) /


failing to achieve a purpose; fruitless
(of organisms) imperfectly developed; rudimentary
causing abortion; abortifacient

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

Medicine definitions for abortive


[ ə-bôrtĭv ]


Not reaching completion, as of a disease subsiding before it has finished its course.
Partially or imperfectly developed; rudimentary.

Related formsa•bortive•ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.