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abortive

[uh-bawr-tiv] /əˈbɔr tɪv/
adjective
1.
failing to succeed; unsuccessful:
an abortive rebellion; an abortive scheme.
2.
born prematurely.
3.
imperfectly developed; rudimentary.
4.
Medicine/Medical.
  1. producing or intended to produce abortion; abortifacient.
  2. acting to halt progress of a disease.
5.
Pathology. (of the course of a disease) short and mild without the usual, pronounced clinical symptoms.
6.
Botany. (of seeds or pollen grains) imperfect; unable to germinate.
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English < Latin abortīvus. See abort, -ive
Related forms
abortively, adverb
abortiveness, noun
nonabortive, adjective
nonabortively, adverb
nonabortiveness, noun
unabortive, adjective
unabortively, adverb
unabortiveness, noun
Synonyms
1. fruitless, ineffectual, bootless, unavailing, vain.
Antonyms
1. successful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for abortive

abortive

/əˈbɔːtɪv/
adjective
1.
failing to achieve a purpose; fruitless
2.
(of organisms) imperfectly developed; rudimentary
3.
causing abortion; abortifacient
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 abortive
adj.

late 14c., "born prematurely or dead," from Latin abortivus "pertaining to miscarriage; causing abortion," from abort-, past participle stem of aboriri "disappear, miscarry," from ab- "amiss" (see ab-) + oriri "appear, be born, arise" (see orchestra); the compound word used in Latin for deaths, miscarriages, sunsets, etc. The Latin verb for "to produce an abortion" was abigo, literally "to drive away." Not originally used to imply forced or deliberate miscarriage; from 14c.-18c. stillborn children or domestic animals were said to be abortive. Also see abortion. Related: Abortiveness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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abortive in Medicine

abortive a·bor·tive (ə-bôr'tĭv)
adj.

  1. Not reaching completion, as of a disease subsiding before it has finished its course.

  2. Partially or imperfectly developed; rudimentary.

  3. Abortifacient.


a·bor'tive·ly adv.
a·bor'tive·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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