Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Induced termination of a pregnancy with destruction of the embryo or fetus.
  • noun Any of various procedures that result in the termination of a pregnancy.
  • noun Cessation of normal growth, especially of an organ or other body part, prior to full development or maturation.
  • noun The premature ending or abandonment of an undertaking.
  • noun Something that is regarded as poorly made or done.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Miscarriage; the expulsion of the fetus before it is viable—that is, in women, before about the 28th week of gestation.
  • noun The product of untimely birth; hence, a misshapen being; a monster.
  • noun Any fruit or product that does not come to maturity; hence, frequently, in a figurative sense, anything which fails in its progress before it is matured or perfected, as a design or project.
  • noun In botany and zoology, the arrested development of an organ at a more or less early stage.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of giving premature birth; particularly, the expulsion of the human fetus prematurely, or before it is capable of sustaining life; miscarriage.
  • noun The immature product of an untimely birth; a fetus which has been delivered prematurely due to spontaneous or voluntary abortion, and is dead.
  • noun (Biol.) Arrest of development of any organ, so that it remains an imperfect formation or is absorbed.
  • noun Any fruit or produce that does not come to maturity, or anything which in its progress, before it is matured or perfect; a complete failure.
  • noun the removal of a fetus from the womb prior to normal delivery in a manner such as to cause the death of the fetus; also called voluntary abortion, or when performed by a physician, therapeutic abortion.
  • noun something considered to be a repulsive or monstrous variant of a normal object; a monstrosity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any fruit or produce which is interrupted in its progress before it is matured or perfect; an idea, project, or anything that does not come to maturity.

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

  • noun termination of pregnancy
  • noun failure of a plan

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin abortiō ("miscarriage, abortion"), from aborior ("miscarry"). See abort for more.

Examples

  • When an abortion (or miscarriage) takes place by itself, without any outside aid, we call it _spontaneous abortion_.

    Woman Her Sex and Love Life

  • American representatives explicitly came to me and asked me to remove the word abortion from our draft, he said.

    Unsafe abortions rising globally

  • The term abortion is tucked away somewhere in their heads in a file holding the vague lexicon of "stuff I understand that I should oppose."

    Taking Tea with the Lizards

  • The term abortion is tucked away somewhere in their heads in a file holding the vague lexicon of "stuff I understand that I should oppose."

    Taking Tea with the Lizards

  • The term abortion is tucked away somewhere in their heads in a file holding the vague lexicon of "stuff I understand that I should oppose."

    Printing: Taking Tea with the Lizards

  • Mrs Parkes: Unfortunately the term abortion actually refers to any pregnancy ending prior to viability or therabouts.

    i did a dumb, dumb thing

  • Sorrough says that Won then contacted POPLINE and asked if there had been any changes in the database and the administrator replied that, yes, they had decided to turn the term abortion into a "stop word."

    Archive 2008-04-01

  • The laity does not like the term abortion, as it is under the impression that the term always signifies criminal abortion; it therefore prefers to use the term miscarriage ( "miss"), regardless of the time at which the expulsion of the fetus takes place.

    Woman Her Sex and Love Life

  • The term abortion is also applied, though less properly, to cases in which the child is become viable, but does not survive the delivery.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 1: Aachen-Assize

  • Since the term abortion is apt to carry with it the implication of a criminal act, confusion will be avoided if we agree for the time to depart from strictly medical usage and designate as miscarriage the spontaneous termination of pregnancy prior to the twenty-eighth week.

    The Prospective Mother, a Handbook for Women During Pregnancy

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