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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. biology imperfect development; rudimentary nature
2. formal failure to achieve a purpose; fruitlessness
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
The reasoning for solitary clusters formation is due to complete inhibition and isolation of gene flow or either may be due to severe natural/human selection procedure of accessions for divergence abortiveness.
At the time she set out to write the book, Khan acknowledged the possible abortiveness of her literary endeavour.
There have been attempts, Hoelzel argues, to construe the fiasco of Faustian characters in literature as the abortiveness of man's struggle against divinity.