Abolish – Definition & Meaning

Abolish is a word that is often used in discussions about social, political, and legal changes. It is a term that has been used throughout history to describe the act of ending something, whether it be a law, a practice, or an institution. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of abolish, its origins, and its various associations.


The word abolish is a verb that means to put an end to something, to do away with it completely. It is often used in the context of laws, practices, or institutions that are considered unjust or outdated. When something is abolished, it is no longer in use or existence.


The word abolish comes from the Latin word abolere, which means to destroy or erase. The word was first used in English in the 15th century, and has been in use ever since.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, abolish means to “formally put an end to (a system, practice, or institution)”. Merriam-Webster defines it as “to end the observance or effect of (something, such as a law) : to completely do away with (something)”. The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “to officially end a law, a system, or an institution”.


The word abolish is often associated with social and political movements that seek to end oppressive or discriminatory practices. It is also associated with the abolition of slavery, which was a major social and political movement in the 19th century.


Some synonyms of abolish include:

  • Abrogate.
  • Annul.
  • Cancel.
  • Eradicate.
  • Repeal.
  • Nullify.
  • Extinguish.


Some antonyms of abolish include:

  • Establish.
  • Create.
  • Introduce.
  • Implement.
  • Reinstate.
  • Preserve.
  • Maintain.

The same root words

Some words that have the same root as abolish include:

  • Abolition.
  • Abolitionist.
  • Abolisher.
  • Abolitionism.

Example Sentences

Here are some example sentences that use the word abolish:

  • The government has decided to abolish the death penalty.
  • The organization is calling for the abolition of child labor.
  • The new law will abolish the practice of discrimination in the workplace.
  • The abolitionist movement was instrumental in ending slavery in the United States.
  • The company has decided to abolish its outdated dress code policy.
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