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[uh-beyt] /əˈbeɪt/
verb (used with object), abated, abating.
to reduce in amount, degree, intensity, etc.; lessen; diminish:
to abate a tax; to abate one's enthusiasm.
  1. to put an end to or suppress (a nuisance).
  2. to suspend or extinguish (an action).
  3. to annul (a writ).
to deduct or subtract:
to abate part of the cost.
to omit:
to abate all mention of names.
to remove, as in stone carving, or hammer down, as in metalwork, (a portion of a surface) in order to produce a figure or pattern in low relief.
verb (used without object), abated, abating.
to diminish in intensity, violence, amount, etc.:
The storm has abated. The pain in his shoulder finally abated.
Law. to end; become null and void.
Origin of abate
1300-50; Middle English < Middle French abatre to beat down, equivalent to a- a-5 + batre < Late Latin batere for Latin battuere to beat; a- perhaps also understood as a-3
Related forms
abatable, adjective
abater; Law. abator, noun
unabatable, adjective
unabating, adjective
unabatingly, adverb
1. decrease, weaken. 6. subside.
1, 6. increase, intensify. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for abates
Historical Examples
  • I must confess thy love touches my heart; it disarms, it abates my sternness; thy Psyche shall see the light again.

    Psyche Molire
  • In comes Ailie: one look at her quiets and abates the eager students.

    Spare Hours John Brown
  • My dear, I have many lonely hours; I have much suffering, which abates enthusiasm.

    Missy Miriam Coles Harris
  • In comes Ailie; one look at her quiets and abates the eager students.

    Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 6 Charles H. Sylvester
  • Will you stay under shelter a few minutes yet, and see whether it abates?

    Verner's Pride Mrs. Henry Wood
  • Whether or not it abates one half the guilt, I make the confession.

  • The scent, acting as a stimulant to the skin, increases rather than abates any tendency to redness.

  • To Friendship—it improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief.

    Suppers Paul Pierce
  • Then, when the search for you abates, we can strike down thence to the seacoast, if the white men are still there.

    By Right of Conquest G. A. Henty
  • On the advent of the joint affection the discharge usually continues as it was, although it often abates somewhat.

British Dictionary definitions for abates


to make or become less in amount, intensity, degree, etc: the storm has abated
(transitive) (law)
  1. to remove, suppress, or terminate (a nuisance)
  2. to suspend or extinguish (a claim or action)
  3. to annul (a writ)
(intransitive) (law) (of a writ, legal action, etc) to become null and void
(transitive) to subtract or deduct, as part of a price
Word Origin
C14: from Old French abatre to beat down, fell
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for abates



"put an end to" (c.1300); "to grow less, diminish in power or influence" (early 14c.), from Old French abattre "beat down, cast down," from Vulgar Latin *abbatere, from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + battuere "to beat" (see batter (v.)). Secondary sense of "to fell, slaughter" is in abatis and abattoir. Related: Abated; abating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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