Definition of abortion in English:



  • 1[mass noun] The deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks.

    ‘concerns such as abortion and euthanasia’
    [count noun] ‘illegal abortions’
    • ‘He was also a staunch opponent of contraception, euthanasia and abortion.’
    • ‘Where abortion is performed in unsafe circumstances these complications are common and have serious consequences.’
    • ‘Healthcare professionals may use the term termination of pregnancy or just termination to describe an abortion.’
    • ‘The motion asks that rates of teenage pregnancies, abortions and sexually transmitted infections are also revealed.’
    • ‘In a number of African countries, local laws and values permit abortion if a pregnancy threatens a woman's health.’
    • ‘This may have heightened its profile but it will take a lot longer to tell if it has any impact on rates of abortion and teenage pregnancy.’
    • ‘She wished to end her pregnancy, but abortion was illegal in Texas except in cases of extreme danger to the mother.’
    • ‘Leigh steers clear of the religious dimension, arguing that abortion is a human moral dilemma, not a religious conundrum.’
    • ‘Women in the first trimester of pregnancy who were undergoing medical abortion were the participants.’
    • ‘Apart from pregnancies, levels of abortion have also been on the increase.’
    • ‘Some countries recognise abortion when pregnancy results from rape or incest, or when there is a high probability of foetal impairment.’
    • ‘The Institute has also argued against abortion, euthanasia and human cloning.’
    • ‘She thought she might start volunteering at the clinic that performed her abortion in 2001.’
    • ‘But it can help prevent that unwanted pregnancy, that abortion, or that misguided marriage which ends in divorce.’
    • ‘His party is a call to arms for God-fearing Christians and opposes abortion, human embryo research and euthanasia.’
    • ‘Their pregnancies led to 10 births, four abortions, and one miscarriage.’
    • ‘One out of four pregnancies and half of all unintended pregnancies end in abortion.’
    • ‘This bill targets the very same services that are working to reduce abortion and unplanned pregnancy rates.’
    • ‘Although it is a Christian organisation, it does not promote any particular moral line on pregnancy or abortion.’
    • ‘Let us keep the backyard abortionist out and legalised abortion in as a human right.’
    termination, miscarriage
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    1. 1.1The expulsion of a fetus from the uterus by natural causes before it is able to survive independently.
      • ‘Abortion in a previous pregnancy predisposes to further abortions or stillbirths in subsequent pregnancies.’
      • ‘This may result in abortion, premature delivery or Congenital Rubella Syndrome.’
      • ‘Many of these attempts resulted in animals with deformities, genetic problems or late abortions.’
      • ‘Autumn is usually the problem time for abortions in spring-calving dairy herds.’
      • ‘Failure of endosperm development usually results in embryo abortion.’
      • ‘Higher amounts of caffeine may be associated with increased rates of abortion and low birth weight.’
      • ‘You've just had what is called a threatened abortion, where the mother bleeds but miscarriage does not follow.’
      • ‘In 12 cases the pregnancies had already failed as a result of missed abortions or miscarriage and so would not have led to a live child.’
    2. 1.2Biology The arrest of the development of a seed, fruit, or other organ.
      • ‘They propose that high levels of homozygosity due to inbreeding may lead to high rates of seed abortion.’
      • ‘Since there may be a low level of background pollen abortion, a second approach is more accurate.’
      • ‘In cucumber, a correlation between fruit abortion and vegetative growth rate was also observed.’
      • ‘Moreover, we did not observe increased levels of seed or ovule abortion in any seth mutants.’
      • ‘High temperature conditions commonly cause flower abscission and seed abortion because of pollination failure.’
  • 2An object or undertaking that is unpleasant or badly made or carried out.

    • ‘He didn't bring up one single argument in respect to the abortion of a budget that was tabled this year.’
    • ‘My introduction to advertising came to consist of thinking up such abortions as banana creme topping.’
    failure, disaster, catastrophe, debacle, shambles, farce, mess, wreck, ruin, ruination, blunder, botch
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Mid 16th century: from Latin abortio(n-), from aboriri miscarry (see abort).