Abortive
The word "abortive" has a number of meanings including prematurely born; fruitless or unsuccessful; imperfectly formed or developed; tending to cut short. In everyday language, the sense of "abortive" to mean prematurely born, as "an abortive child," is largely obsolete today. The main meaning of "abortive" in ordinary English is fruitless or unsuccessful, as an "abortive enterprise" or an "abortive effort." In biology, "abortive" means imperfectly formed or developed or rudimentary as, an "abortive organ." In medicine, "abortive" has two meanings: one, causing abortion, as an "abortive medicine," is rarely used nowadays; the other meaning, that of tending to cut short is quite commonly used in medicine, as in the "abortive treatment of typhoid fever" or "abortive polio": polio cut short.
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1. Not reaching completion; e.g., said of an attack of a disease subsiding before it has fully developed or completed its course. 2. SYN: rudimentary. 3. SYN: abortifacient (1). [L. abortivus]

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abor·tive ə-'bȯrt-iv adj
1) imperfectly formed or developed: RUDIMENTARY
2 a) ABORTIFACIENT
b) cutting short <\abortive treatment of pneumonia>
c) failing to develop completely or typically <an \abortive case of poliomyelitis>

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abor·tive (ə-borґtiv) [L. abortivus] 1. incompletely developed. 2. abortifacient (def. 1). 3. cutting short the course of a disease.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Synonyms:

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  • Abortive — A*bor tive, a. [L. abortivus, fr. aboriri. See {Abort}, v.] 1. Produced by abortion; born prematurely; as, an abortive child. [R.] [1913 Webster] 2. Made from the skin of a still born animal; as, abortive vellum. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] 3.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • abortive — abortive, aborted The central meaning of abortive since the time of Shakespeare has been ‘coming to nought, fruitless, useless, unsuccessful’. It can be applied to attempts, efforts, missions, coups, and rebellions, negotations, proposals, etc.,… …   Modern English usage

  • Abortive — may refer to: Abortion of pregnancy Abortive infection, a viral infection that infects a cell without reproducing into more infectious viruses. Abortive flower, a flower with a stamen but no pistil. This disambiguation page lists articles… …   Wikipedia

  • abortive — (adj.) late 14c., born prematurely or dead, from L. abortivus pertaining to miscarriage; causing abortion, from abort , pp. stem of aboriri disappear, miscarry, from ab amiss (see AB (Cf. ab )) + oriri appear, be born, arise (see ORCHESTRA (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • Abortive — A*bor tive, n. 1. That which is born or brought forth prematurely; an abortion. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. A fruitless effort or issue. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] 3. A medicine to which is attributed the property of causing abortion; also called… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • abortive — index futile, imperfect, ineffective, ineffectual, otiose, unavailing, unproductive Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton …   Law dictionary

  • abortive — fruitless, vain, *futile, bootless Analogous words: *immature, unmatured, unripe: unformed (see FORMLESS): ineffectual, *ineffective, inefficacious: unfortunate, unlucky (see affirmative adjectives at LUCKY) Antonyms: consummated Contrasted words …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • abortive — [adj] failing to achieve a goal failed, failing, fruitless, futile, ineffective, ineffectual, miscarried, unavailing, unproductive, unsuccessful, useless, vain, worthless; concept 528 Ant. complete, consummated, effectual, efficient, fruitful,… …   New thesaurus

  • abortive — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ failing to produce the intended result; unsuccessful. DERIVATIVES abortively adverb …   English terms dictionary

  • abortive — [ə bôrt′iv] adj. [ME abortif < L abortivus: see ABORT] 1. coming to nothing; unsuccessful; fruitless 2. Biol. arrested in development; rudimentary 3. Med. a) causing abortion b) halting a disease process …   English World dictionary

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