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[ab-uh-lish-uh n] /ˌæb əˈlɪʃ ən/
the act of abolishing:
the abolition of war.
the state of being abolished; annulment; abrogation:
the abolition of unjust laws; the abolition of unfair taxes.
the legal prohibition and ending of slavery, especially of slavery of blacks in the U.S.
Origin of abolition
1520-30; < Latin abolitiōn- (stem of abolitiō), equivalent to abolit(us) effaced, destroyed, past participle of abolēre (cf. abolish) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
abolitionary, adjective
nonabolition, noun
proabolition, adjective
1, 2. annihilation, eradication, elimination; nullification, invalidation, revocation, repeal.
2. establishment. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for abolition
  • It was clearly made for promotion for the cause of abolition.
  • The abolition of the monarchy was part of their price.
  • Students and teachers responded by demanding the abolition of all for-profit education.
  • The idea now is to use the abolition of the tax shield to sweeten the end of the wealth tax.
  • The government says that it hopes to obtain its approval, along with the abolition of prior film censorship, within weeks.
  • Humane and laudable as abolition was, it was also expensive.
  • No, the abolition of tenure won't be the end of the world today, or tomorrow.
  • The matter of abolition was not nearly as simple as it might seem today.
  • Its development was part of the drive towards democracy and capitalism and the abolition of royal privileges and monopolies.
  • And the campaign for complete abolition of the estate tax has little chance.
British Dictionary definitions for abolition


the act of abolishing or the state of being abolished; annulment
(often capital) (in British territories) the ending of the slave trade (1807) or the ending of slavery (1833): accomplished after a long campaign led by William Wilberforce
(often capital) (in the US) the emancipation of the slaves, accomplished by the Emancipation Proclamation issued in 1863 and ratified in 1865
Derived Forms
abolitionary, adjective
abolitionism, noun
abolitionist, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin abolitio, from abolēre to destroy
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 abolition

1520s, from Middle French abolition or directly from Latin abolitionem (nominative abolitio) "an abolition," noun of action from past participle stem of abolere "destroy" (see abolish). Specific application to "opposition to the black slave trade as a political question" is first attested 1788.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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