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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle French abatement, from Old French abatre[1]. Equivalent to abate (to beat down) +‎ -ment (the result of).



abatement (plural abatements)

  1. The act of abating, or the state of being abated; a lessening, diminution, or reduction; a moderation; removal or putting an end to; the suppression of. [First attested from 1340 to 1470.][2][1]
    the abatement of a nuisance is the suppression thereof.
  2. The amount abated; that which is taken away by way of reduction; deduction; decrease; a rebate or discount allowed; in particular from a tax. [Late 15th century.][2]
  3. (heraldry) A mark of dishonor on an escutcheon; any figure added to the coat of arms tending to lower the dignity or station of the bearer.[3][Early 17th century.][2]
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English, from Anglo-Norman abatre (to abate) + -ment.[3]


abatement (plural abatements)

  1. (law) The action of a person that abates, or without proper authority enters a residence after the death of the owner and before the heir takes possession.[3]
  2. (law) The reduction of the proceeds of a will, when the debts have not yet been satisfied; the reduction of taxes due.[4][First attested around 1150 to 1350.][2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 [1998], ISBN 0550142304), page 2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 “abatement” in Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0-19-860457-0, page 2.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], ISBN 0-87779-101-5)
  4. ^ Laurence Urdang (editor), The Random House College Dictionary (Random House, 1984 [1975], ISBN 0-394-43600-8), page 1
  • The Manual of Heraldry, Fifth Edition, by Anonymous, London, 1862, online at [1]