(noun, adjective, verb)


1. failing to accomplish an intended result

- an abortive revolt

Similar word(s): unfruitful, stillborn, unsuccessful

Sentences with abortive as an adjective:

- an abortive child

- an abortive attempt

- an abortive organ

- an abortive stamen

- an abortive ovule

- abortive medicines

- abortive treatment of typhoid fever

- abortive vellum


1. (obsolete) That which is born or brought forth prematurely; an abortion. [Attested from around (1150 to 1350) until the mid 18th century.]

2. (obsolete) A fruitless effort or issue. [Attested from the early 17th century until the early 18th century.]

3. (obsolete) A medicine to which is attributed the property of causing abortion, abortifacient.


1. (transitive, obsolete) To cause an abortion; to render without fruit. [Attested only in the 17th century.]