|1.||the act of abolishing or the state of being abolished; annulment|
|2.||(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|
|3.||(often capital) (in the US) the emancipation of the slaves, accomplished by the Emancipation Proclamation issued in 1863 and ratified in 1865|
|[C16: from Latin abolitio, from abolēre to destroy]|
The belief that slavery should be abolished. In the early nineteenth century, increasing numbers of people in the northern United States held that the nation's slaves should be freed immediately, without compensation to slave owners. John Brown, Frederick W. Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman were well-known abolitionists.
Note: Abolitionism in the United States was an important factor leading to the Civil War.