Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To do away with; annul.
  • transitive v. To destroy completely.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To do away with wholly; to annul; to make void; -- said of laws, customs, institutions, governments, etc..
  • transitive v. To put an end to, or destroy, as a physical objects; to wipe out.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To do away with; put an end to; destroy; efface or obliterate; annihilate: as, to abolish customs or institutions; to abolish slavery; to abolish idols (Isa. ii. 18); to abolish death (2 Tim. i. 10).
  • Synonyms To Abolish, Repeal, Rescind, Recall, Revoke, Abrogate, Annul, Cancel, end, destroy, do away with, set aside, nullify, annihilate, quash, vacate, make void, extirpate, eradicate, suppress, uproot, erase, expunge. Abolish is a strong word, and signifies a complete removal, generally but not always by a summary act. It is the word specially used in connection with things that have been long established or deeply rooted, as an institution or a custom: as, to abolish slavery or polygamy. Repeal is generally used of the formal rescinding of a legislative act. Abrogate, to abolish summarily, more often as the act of a ruler, but sometimes of a representative body. Annul, literally to bring to nothing, to deprive of all force or obligation, as a law or contract. Rescind (literally, to cut short) is coextensive in meaning with both repeal and annul. Recall, revoke (see renounce). Cancel is not used of laws, but of deeds, bonds, contracts, etc., and figuratively of whatever may be thought of as crossed out.

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

  • v. do away with

Etymologies

Middle English abolisshen, from Old French abolir, aboliss-, from Latin abolēre.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English abolisshen, from Middle French abolir ("to abolish"), from Latin abolēre ("destroy, cause to die out"), present active infinitive of aboleō ("destroy, abolish"), abolesco ("to wither, to decay"), from ab ("from, away from") + oleō ("to grow").[2] (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I also don't think they will actually abolish is simply because men would have to be paying child support for kids they wouldn't want to have, so I am pretty sure men would not go for it.

    Obama reacts to Clinton speech

  • The mischief done by privateering, which the great Powers of Europe have agreed to abolish, is as nothing compared with the wholesale suffering which the blockade now being enforced by the

    Belligerent Rights

  • And here, perhaps, we may be pardoned for the digression necessary to show the exact definition of the terms abolish, abolition and abolitionist.

    The Impending Crisis of the South: How to Meet It

  • Unfortunately, the values and ideals were also created by those badly behaved Europeans in conditions that the European Union is now desperate to abolish, that is small and medium-sized, competing political entities.

    Myth of the week

  • Will McConnell do, as Howard Gleckman suggested he must, in order to balance the budget by 2020, "abolish" the entirety of government.

    TV SoundOff: Sunday Talking Heads

  • Vouchers, charter schools, mayoral control, the power to "abolish" individual teaching positions and chancellor-controlled teacher evaluations - all of these have been part of the school landscape in Washington for years.

    Randi Weingarten: Rhee is wrong

  • Hudak has announced he will abolish the Ontario Human Rights Commission, while Hillier has alternatively said he will "abolish" or "reform or abolish" the OHRC.

    The Pro-Life Record of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Leadership Candidates #roft

  • Monckton does a good job in showing the unreliability of many of the UN figures, explaining how it managed to "abolish" the Mediaeval Warm Period and produce the infamous ice hockey stick graph, since then disproved by just about every reliable scientist.

    Hot air everywhere

  • But the fair tax also fits into Mr. Huckabee's populist pitch as a way to "abolish" the hated IRS.

    The Huckabee Contradiction

  • The essence of this point, in my mind, is nothing incredibly deep, but simply the point that what SC said was much broader and more general than is generally understood, that it did not "abolish" Latin and said nothing about the priest's posture.

    Amy's tips on how to report on the 'Old Mass'

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