Definition of abortion in US English:

abortion

noun

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

    ‘concerns such as abortion and euthanasia’
    count noun ‘illegal abortions’
    • ‘Some countries recognise abortion when pregnancy results from rape or incest, or when there is a high probability of foetal impairment.’
    • ‘One out of four pregnancies and half of all unintended pregnancies end in abortion.’
    • ‘She thought she might start volunteering at the clinic that performed her abortion in 2001.’
    • ‘The Institute has also argued against abortion, euthanasia and human cloning.’
    • ‘This bill targets the very same services that are working to reduce abortion and unplanned pregnancy rates.’
    • ‘In a number of African countries, local laws and values permit abortion if a pregnancy threatens a woman's health.’
    • ‘But it can help prevent that unwanted pregnancy, that abortion, or that misguided marriage which ends in divorce.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Healthcare professionals may use the term termination of pregnancy or just termination to describe an abortion.’
    • ‘Apart from pregnancies, levels of abortion have also been on the increase.’
    • ‘He was also a staunch opponent of contraception, euthanasia and abortion.’
    • ‘Although it is a Christian organisation, it does not promote any particular moral line on pregnancy or abortion.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The motion asks that rates of teenage pregnancies, abortions and sexually transmitted infections are also revealed.’
    • ‘Women in the first trimester of pregnancy who were undergoing medical abortion were the participants.’
    • ‘Let us keep the backyard abortionist out and legalised abortion in as a human right.’
    • ‘Where abortion is performed in unsafe circumstances these complications are common and have serious consequences.’
    termination, miscarriage
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Medicine The expulsion of a fetus from the uterus by natural causes before it is able to survive independently.
      • ‘Higher amounts of caffeine may be associated with increased rates of abortion and low birth weight.’
      • ‘Abortion in a previous pregnancy predisposes to further abortions or stillbirths in subsequent pregnancies.’
      • ‘Autumn is usually the problem time for abortions in spring-calving dairy herds.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Many of these attempts resulted in animals with deformities, genetic problems or late abortions.’
      • ‘This may result in abortion, premature delivery or Congenital Rubella Syndrome.’
      • ‘Failure of endosperm development usually results in embryo abortion.’
    2. 1.2Biology The arrest of the development of an organ, typically a seed or fruit.
      • ‘High temperature conditions commonly cause flower abscission and seed abortion because of pollination failure.’
      • ‘Moreover, we did not observe increased levels of seed or ovule abortion in any seth mutants.’
      • ‘In cucumber, a correlation between fruit abortion and vegetative growth rate was also observed.’
      • ‘Since there may be a low level of background pollen abortion, a second approach is more accurate.’
      • ‘They propose that high levels of homozygosity due to inbreeding may lead to high rates of seed abortion.’
  • 2An object or undertaking regarded by the speaker as 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
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 16th century: from Latin abortio(n-), from aboriri ‘miscarry’ (see abort).

Pronunciation

abortion

/əˈbôrSH(ə)n//əˈbɔrʃ(ə)n/