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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 ?
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:
In addition, Marco's genealogy stresses the insanity, absence, and abortiveness of its maternal side as much as the alienated, unstable, and obsessive (yet equally successful) features of his recuperated paternal side: its putative beginning, in the nineteenth-century wealth of Effing's robber-baron father, "old man" Barber (146); then the successive degradation of that wealth through three generations, until Marco loses the last of it to unknown highway thieves somewhere in southern Utah in 1971; and the logic of this, indeed its progression from the lunacy traced on Marco's maternal side, to the rationality of his father, Sol.