a. Induced termination of a pregnancy with destruction of the embryo or fetus.
b. Any of various procedures that result in the termination of a pregnancy. Also called induced abortion.
2. See miscarriage.
3. Cessation of normal growth, especially of an organ or other body part, prior to full development or maturation.
4. The premature ending or abandonment of an undertaking.
5. Something that is regarded as poorly made or done.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.