abortive

[uh-bawr-tiv]

adjective

failing to succeed; unsuccessful: an abortive rebellion; an abortive scheme.
born prematurely.
imperfectly developed; rudimentary.
Medicine/Medical.
  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.

Nearby words

  1. abortigenic,
  2. abortion,
  3. abortion pill,
  4. abortion-on-demand,
  5. abortionist,
  6. abortive transduction,
  7. abortus,
  8. abortus bang ring test,
  9. aboudikro,
  10. abought

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

abortive

adjective

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

Word Origin and History for abortive

abortive

adj.

late 14c., "born prematurely or dead," from Latin abortivus "pertaining to miscarriage; causing abortion," from abort-, past participle stem of aboriri "disappear, miscarry," from ab- "amiss" (see ab-) + oriri "appear, be born, arise" (see orchestra); the compound word used in Latin for deaths, miscarriages, sunsets, etc. The Latin verb for "to produce an abortion" was abigo, literally "to drive away." Not originally used to imply forced or deliberate miscarriage; from 14c.-18c. stillborn children or domestic animals were said to be abortive. Also see abortion. Related: Abortiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for abortive

abortive

[ə-bôrtĭv]

adj.

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