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



abortion +‎ -ist. First attested in 1872.[1]


  • (US) IPA(key): /əˈbɔɹ.ʃə.nɪst/
  • (file)


abortionist (plural abortionists)

  1. (crime, medicine, now often historical) One who performs an illegal abortion in a non-medical setting (a back street, a hotel room, etc).
    Synonym: (historical, euphemism) angel maker
    • 2005, Paul Krassner, One Hand Jerking: Reports from an Investigative Satirist, →ISBN, page 24:
      In 1962, when abortion was still illegal, I published an anonymous interview with Dr. Robert Spencer, a humane abortionist who was known as “The Saint.”
    • 2009-2010, Roger Ebert, Roger Ebert's Movie Yearbook 2010, review of 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, page 146:
      Then she asks her to go first to meet the abortionist. Then she neglects to make a reservation at the hotel the abortionist specifies. That almost sinks the arrangement: The abortionist has experience suggesting that hotel will be a safe venue, and suspects he may be set up for a police trap.
  2. (politics, chiefly in anti-abortion discourse, derogatory) An abortion provider; one who performs a legal abortion.
    • 1998, J. David Bleich, Bioethical Dilemmas: A Jewish Perspective, volume 1, page 277:
      Such a fetus is perfectly viable save for the act of the abortionist.
    • 2003, Mark Juergensmeyer, Terror in the Mind of God: The Global Rise of Religious Violence, →ISBN, page 24:
      According to Bray, "there is a difference between taking a retired abortionist and executing him, and killing a practicing abortionist who is regularly killing babies." The first act is in Bray's view retributive, the second defensive.
    • 2009, Dinesh D'Souza, Letters to a Young Conservative, →ISBN, page 191:
      [] a gruesome procedure in which the abortionist dismembers a child who could survive outside the womb.
  3. (politics, in anti-abortion discourse, offensive) One who favors abortion being legal. [since the late 19th century][1]


  • (one who favours abortion being legal): anti-abortionist (one who opposes abortion being legal)


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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors (2002), “abortionist”, in The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 7.