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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 abating
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The gale still held on, however, and we saw no signs of its abating.

  • The wind is abating, madam,—the worst is over; and now to my question.

    Sir Jasper Carew Charles James Lever
  • She opened the door and stood for a moment before stepping into the abating storm.

    Tess of the Storm Country Grace Miller White
  • In the meantime the Queen's anger was abating, and the trouble was blowing over.

    Shakespearean Playhouses Joseph Quincy Adams
  • But his contempt was abating; he was growing uneasy; Philip was before him as fierce as ever.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
British Dictionary definitions for abating


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 abating



"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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