abortive action

(redirected from abortive)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

abortive action

An action that fails and/or ends abruptly or causes something else to fail or end abruptly. The measure to increase pay for senators that was included in the tax reform bill was an abortive action, causing the entire bill to die on the senate floor. The general's effort to mount a counteroffensive proved an abortive action, leaving half of his troops decimated in the wake of battle.
See also: action
References in classic literature ?
Some, it is true, who were entirely unhorsed, set out on a begging visit to their cousins, as they called them, the Lower Nez Perces, who inhabit the lower country about the Columbia, and possess horses in abundance.
Perhaps the blood which he lost might have cooled his anger: for the enemy had not only applied her nails to his cheeks, but likewise her fist to his nostrils, which lamented the blow with tears of blood in great abundance.
I saw here abundance of cocoa trees, orange, and lemon, and citron trees; but all wild, and very few bearing any fruit, at least not then.
The next day, being the nineteenth, I went back, having made me two small bags to bring home my harvest; but I was surprised, when coming to my heap of grapes, which were so rich and fine when I gathered them, to find them all spread about, trod to pieces, and dragged about, some here, some there, and abundance eaten and devoured.
Besides, I wanted her assistance to supply me with several necessaries, which before I was shy of letting anybody see me have, that it might not be public; but now I had a cabin and room to set things in, I ordered abundance of good things for our comfort in the voyage, as brandy, sugar, lemons, etc.
Indeed, this fellow showed abundance of ingenuity in several things which he had no knowledge of: he made him a forge, with a pair of wooden bellows to blow the fire; he made himself charcoal for his work; and he formed out of the iron crows a middling good anvil to hammer upon: in this manner he made many things, but especially hooks, staples, and spikes, bolts and hinges.
The closure came less than a week after the suicide bombing at a hotel in Mombasa and an abortive missile attack on an airliner bound for Israel.
third-time lucky when allowed to show his worth after two abortive trips to Lingfield this winter, writes Bruce Jackson.
Mills & Reeve, which earlier this year held abortive merger talks with Birmingham's Martineau Johnson, reached pounds 25 million in the year to June 1.
Once the creator of classics like the CV-8 and Interceptor, the Liverpool firm stopped making cars in July and has since been the subject of several abortive rescue attempts.
The most grisly instance of a film role instigating bad music involves the unlikely casting of Don Johnson as Elvis, thus leading to Johnson's abortive musical career.
Not only is the standard of rugby poor and uninteresting, but the pre-match and post-match discussions are not only abortive attempts to pep up some interest but are exceedingly repetitive and boring.
Logician has been sent to Ian Balding's Kingsclere stables following an abortive bid for the Breeders' Cup Chase in the US.
No-one was hurt in the abortive attack but the device fell near houses.
GROUP One winner Arctic Owl is likely to return to action on the Flat next week after an abortive attempt over hurdles during the winter.