(comparative more abortive, superlative most abortive)
- Coming to naught; failing in its effect; miscarrying; fruitless; unsuccessful. [First attested in the late 16th century.]
- an abortive attempt
- (biology) Imperfectly formed or developed; rudimentary; sterile. [First attested in the mid 18th century.]
- an abortive organ
- an abortive stamen
- an abortive ovule
- (medicine, rare) Causing abortion; abortifacient
- abortive medicines
- (medicine) Cutting short; acting to halt or slow the progress (of a disease).
- abortive treatment of typhoid fever
- Made from the skin of a still-born animal.
- abortive vellum
(third-person singular simple present abortives, present participle abortiving, simple past and past participle abortived)
- (obsolete) To cause an abortion; to render without fruit. [Attested only in the 17th century.]
First attested in 1382, with the meaning "causing stillbirth or miscarriage". From Middle English, from Old French abortif, from Latin abortīvus (“causing abortion”), from aborior (“miscarry, disappear”), from ab (“amiss”) + orīor (“appear, be born, arise”) .