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aborigine an original or first inhabitant of an area, esp. a member of a tribe native to Australia. [1/2 definitions]
abortion an aborted fetus. [1/4 definitions]
abortive producing or intended to produce an abortion. [1/3 definitions]
about-face an abrupt, complete change in opinion, beliefs, actions, or the like; switch; reversal. [1/3 definitions]
above in an earlier place in a book or other piece of writing. [1/9 definitions]
abovementioned introduced or discussed in an earlier part of a written text. [1/2 definitions]
Abraham Lincoln the 16th President of the United States (1861-1865), who was Commander-in-Chief of the Union troops during the American Civil War and who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, thus bringing an end to slavery in the United States (b.1809--d.1865).
abridgment an act, process, or instance of abridging. [1/3 definitions]
Abscam in the United States, an FBI investigation in 1978-80, as a result of which several members of Congress were indicted for taking bribes from FBI agents posing as Arab businessmen.
abscess a collection of pus in body tissue, usu. surrounded by an inflamed area. [2 definitions]
absence an instance or period of time of being away. [1/3 definitions]
absentee ballot a ballot to be marked and delivered to an election official before election day because the voter will be unable to be at the polls on that day.
absolute monarchy an authoritarian governing system in which a hereditary ruler holds complete power until death.
abstention the act or practice, or an instance, of abstaining. [1/2 definitions]
abstract depicting reality not as it appears to the senses of most people but in the way that an individual interprets it or wishes to suggest it; nonrepresentational. [2/13 definitions]
abstract expressionism (sometimes cap.) a school of painting that arose after World War II and that was marked by expressive but nonrepresentational images formed by an apparently random and often unconventional application of paint.
abstraction an abstract or general idea, concept, or term. [2/4 definitions]
abundance an amount that is more than enough; a very plentiful quantity. [1/2 definitions]
abuse to use in an improper or incorrect manner; misuse. [2/7 definitions]
abutment an architectural component that supports an arch, vault, or the like, as of a bridge. [1/2 definitions]
abyss anything resembling an abyss in its extent, unmeasurableness, or profundity. [1/2 definitions]