Meaning of “abort” in the English Dictionary

"abort" in British English

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uk /əˈbɔːt/ us /əˈbɔːrt/

abort verb (END PREGNANCY)

[ T ] to stop the development of a baby that has not been born, usually by having a medical operation:

Do you think it's wrong to use aborted foetuses for medical research?

[ I ] another word for miscarry (miscarriage)

More examples

  • This change in the law would make abortion illegal except for strictly defined medical reasons.
  • We're conducting a poll to find out what people think about abortion.
  • Some women choose to have an abortion rather than care for a severely disabled child.
  • Her husband longed for children, and she had an abortion without telling him.
  • Many women die or become infertile as a result of unsafe abortions.

(Definition of “abort” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"abort" in American English

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us /əˈbɔrt/

abort verb (STOP)

[ T ] to stop something before it has begun or to cause something to fail before it is complete:

Engineers aborted the test flight at the last minute.

abort verb (END PREGNANCY)

[ I/T ] to end a pregnancy before a baby is fully developed

noun [ C/U ] us /əˈbɔr·ʃən/
adjective [ not gradable ] us /əˈbɔr·t̬ɪv/

An abortive uprising led to his exile.

(Definition of “abort” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"abort" in Business English

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uk /əˈbɔːt/ us

[ T ] to stop an activity before it begins or before it is complete:

abort a test/trial/plan We were forced to abort the test as a result of technical problems.
abort a launch/merger/deal Money has been wasted on aborted deals.

[ I or T ] IT to stop a computer process before it is complete:

abort a program/command/operation This command tells the server to abort the previous FTP service command.
If the file is not present, the script will abort.

(Definition of “abort” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)