Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search



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),[1] from ab (from, away from) + oleō (to grow).[2]



abolish (third-person singular simple present abolishes, present participle abolishing, simple past and past participle abolished)

  1. To end a law, system, institution, custom or practice. [First attested from around 1350 to 1470.][3]
    Slavery was abolished in the nineteenth century.
    • 2002, William Schabas, The abolition of the death penalty in international law (Cambridge University Press):
  2. (archaic) To put an end to or destroy, as a physical object; to wipe out. [First attested from around 1350 to 1470.][3]
    • Edmund Spenser:
      And with thy blood abolish so reproachful blot.
    • Alfred Tennyson:
      His quick instinctive hand Caught at the hilt, as to abolish him.



  • (to end a law, system, institution, custom or practice): establish, found

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


  1. ^ Laurence Urdang (editor), The Random House College Dictionary (Random House, 1984 [1975], ISBN 0-394-43600-8), page 4
  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), page 4
  3. 3.0 3.1 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], ISBN 978-0-19-860575-7), page 6