Dictionary: A-BAT'A-BLE – AB-BRE'VI-ATE

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That may or can be abated; as, an abatable writ or nuisance.

A-BATE', v.i.

  1. To decrease, or become less in strength or violence; as, pain abates; a storm abates.
  2. To fail; to be defeated, or come to naught; as, a writ abates. By the civil law a legacy to a charity does not abate by deficiency of assets.
  3. In law, to enter into a freehold after the death of the last occupant, and before the heir or devisee takes possession. – Blackstone.
  4. In horsemanship, to perform well a downward motion. A horse is said to abate, or take down his curvets, when, working upon curvets, he puts both his hind legs to the ground at once, and observes the same exactness in all the times. – Encyc.

A-BATE', v.t. [Fr. abattre, to beat down; battre, to beat, to strike; Sp. batir, abatir; Port. bater, abater; It. battere, abattere; Heb. Ch. חבט, habat; to beat; Syr. ܚܒܛ id. Ar. خَبَطَ gabata, to beat, and كَبَتََ kabata, to beat down, to prostrate. The Saxon has the participle gebatod, abated. The prefix is sunk to a in abate, and lost in beat. See Class Bd. No. 23, 33.]

  1. To beat down; to pull down; to destroy in any manner; as, to abate a nuisance.
  2. To lessen; to diminish; to moderate; as, to abate zeal; to abate pride; to abate a demand; to abate courage.
  3. To lessen; to mitigate; as, to abate pain or sorrow.
  4. To overthrow; to cause to fail; to frustrate by judicial sentence; as, to abate a writ.
  5. To deject; to depress; as, to abate the soul. [Obs.]
  6. To deduct. Nothing to add and nothing to abate. – Pope.
  7. To cause to fail; to annul. By the English law, a legacy to a charity is abated by a deficiency of assets.
  8. To remit; as, to abate a tax.

A-BAT'ED, pp.

Lessened; decreased; destroyed; mitigated; defeated; remitted; overthrown.


  1. The act of abating; the state of being abated.
  2. A reduction, removing, or pulling down, as of a nuisance. – Blackstone.
  3. Diminution, decrease, or mitigation, as of grief or pain.
  4. Deduction, sum withdrawn, as from an account.
  5. Overthrow, failure, or defeat, as of a writ. – Blackstone.
  6. The entry of a stranger into a freehold after the death of the tenant, before the heir or devisee. – Blackstone.
  7. In heraldry, a mark of dishonor in a coat of arms, by which its dignity is debased for some stain on the character of the wearer.

A-BAT'ER, n.

The person or thing that abates.

A-BAT'ING, ppr.

Pulling down; diminishing; defeating; remitting.

A-BAT'OR, n.

A person who enters into a freehold on the death of the last possessor, before the heir or devisee. – Blackstone.

AB'AT-TIS, n. [from beating or pulling down. Fr. abattre.]

Rubbish. In fortification, piles of trees, or branches of trees sharpened, and laid with their points outward, in front of ramparts, to prevent assailants from mounting the walls. – Encyc.

A-BAT-TOIR', n. [Fr.]

A building for the slaughtering of cattle.

AB'A-TUDE, n. [from abate.]

Any thing diminished.

AB'A-TURE, n. [from abate.]

Grass beaten or trampled down by a stag in passing.

A-BAUM', n.

A species of red clay. [Not in use.]

A-BAW'ED, pp.

Abashed. [Obs.] – Chaucer.

ABB, n. [Sax. ab or ob.]

Among weavers, yarn for the warp. Hence abb-wool is wool for the abb. – Encyc.

AB'BA, n.

In the Chaldee and Syriac, a father, and figuratively a superior. Sans. appen. In the Syriac, Coptic and Ethiopic churches, it is a title given to the bishops, and the bishops bestow the title by way of distinction, on the bishop of Alexandria. Hence the title Baba, or Papa, Pope or great father, which the bishop of Alexandria bore, before the bishop of Rome.

AB'BA-CY, n. [from abba, Low L. abbatia.]

The dignity, rights and privileges of an abbot. It comprehends the government and revenues.


Belonging to an abbey.

AB'BE, n. [Ab'by, from abba.]

In a monastic sense, the same as an abbot; but more generally, a title, in Catholic countries, without any determinate rank, office or rights. The abbes are numerous, and generally have tome literary attainments; they dress as academics or scholars, and act as instructors, in colleges and private families; or as tutors to young gentlemen on their travels; and many of them become authors.

AB'BESS, n. [from abba.]

A female superior or governess of a nunnery, or convent of nuns, having the authority over the nuns which the abbots have over the monks. [See Abbey.]

AB'BEY, n. [plur. Abbeys; from abba.]

A monastery or society of persons of either sex, secluded from the world and devoted to religion. The males are called monks and governed by an abbot; the females are called nuns, and governed by an abbess. These institutions were suppressed in England by Henry VIII.; but they still exist in Catholic countries.


A name given to monks in contempt for their idleness.

AB'BOT, n. [formerly Abbat, from abba, latinized abbas, or from Heb. plural אבת, aboth.]

The superior or governor of an abbey or monastery. Originally monasteries were founded in retired places, and the religious had no concern with secular affairs, being entirely subject to the prelates. But the abbots possessing most of the learning, in ages of ignorance, were called from their seclusion to aid the churches in opposing heresies; monasteries were founded in the vicinity of cities; the abbots became ambitious and set themselves to acquire wealth and honors; some of them assumed the miter, threw off their dependence on the bishops, and obtained seats in parliament. For centuries princes and noblemen bore the title of abbots. At present in Catholic countries, abbots are regular, or such as take the vow, and wear the habit of the order; and commendatory, such as are seculars, but obliged, when of suitable age, to take orders. The title is borne also by some persons who have not the government of a monastery; as bishops whose sees were formerly abbeys. – Encyc.


The state of an abbot.

AB-BRE'VI-ATE, v.t. [It. abbreviare; Sp. abreviar; Port. abbreviar; from L. abbrevio, brevio, from brevis, short; contraction from Gr. βραχυς, from the root of break, which see.]

  1. To shorten; to make shorter by contracting the parts. [In this sense not much used, nor often applied to material substances.]
  2. To shorten; to abridge by the omission or defalcation of a part; to reduce to a smaller compass; as, to abbreviate a writing.
  3. In mathematics, to reduce fractions to the lowest terms. – Wallis.