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1. Failing to accomplish an intended objective; fruitless: an abortive attempt to conclude the negotiations.
2. Biology Partially or imperfectly developed: an abortive organ.
3. Causing or meant to cause abortion; abortifacient.

a·bor′tive·ly adv.
a·bor′tive·ness n.


1. biology imperfect development; rudimentary nature
2. formal failure to achieve a purpose; fruitlessness
References in periodicals archive ?
At the time she set out to write the book, Khan acknowledged the possible abortiveness of her literary endeavour.
25) Such a world is characterized by a serious chaotic condition such as the post-colony promises--"disarray, bewilderment, the incompatibility of means and ends, the pervasiveness of evil, the abortiveness of hope and happiness.
Time and again, Mary Shelley saves her project from charges of abortiveness by reconstructing the now-vanished Percy Shelley into a monument of textual wholeness: