Definition of abortive adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//əˈbɔːtɪv//
; NAmE NAmE//əˈbɔːrtɪv//
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(of an action) not successful; failed synonym unsuccessful an abortive military coup abortive attempts to divert the course of the river Word OriginMiddle English (as a noun denoting a stillborn child or animal): via Old French from Latin abortivus, from aboriri ‘miscarry’, from ab- ‘away, from’ + oriri ‘be born’.Extra examples He tried to set up a meeting but his efforts proved abortive. An attempted reform of the organization proved largely abortive. The companies were involved in an abortive takeover battle. There was an abortive attempt to overthrow the government.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: abortive