Word of the Day

Saturday, November 01, 2008

abate

\uh-BAYT\ , verb;
1.
to make or become less in force or intensity; decrease or diminish
intransitive verb:
1.
to be at an end; become null and void
transitive verb:
1.
to deduct from something; reduce
Quotes:
Chicago law requires the landlord to abate lead paint hazards and provides fines up to $500 for each violation.
-- Ed Sacks, Lead and asbestos worry mom, Chicago Sun-Times, July 14, 2004
Still, behind the scenes, he was desperately trying to cajole support from colleagues warily assessing whether the perfect storm that had engulfed him would abate--or sweep him into oblivion.
-- Howard Fineman, Ghosts Of The Past, Newsweek, December 22, 1998
But no one expects the Iraqi insurgency to miraculously vanish, or even significantly abate, in the weeks ahead.
-- Death of a Terrorist, Newsweek, June 18, 2002
Origin:
c.1270, from Old French abattre "beat down," from Latin ad "to" + battuere "to beat"; secondary sense of "to fell, slaughter" is in abatis and abattoir
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