abate, let up, slack off, slack, die away

(verb) become less in amount or intensity; “The storm abated”; “The rain let up after a few hours”

slake, abate, slack

(verb) make less active or intense

Source: WordNet® 3.1

Etymology 1


abate (third-person singular simple present abates, present participle abating, simple past and past participle abated)

(transitive, obsolete, outside, law) To put an end to; to cause to cease. [attested since about 1150 to 1350]

(intransitive) To become null and void. [attested since the late 15th century]

(transitive, legal) To nullify; make void. [attested since the late 15th century]

(transitive, obsolete) To humble; to lower in status; to bring someone down physically or mentally. [attested from around 1150 to 1350 until the mid 1600s]

(intransitive, obsolete) To be humbled; to be brought down physically or mentally. [attested from around 1150 to 1350 until the mid 1600s]

(transitive, obsolete) To curtail; to deprive. [attested from around 1350 to 1470 until the mid 1800s]

(transitive) To reduce in amount, size, or value. [attested since 1325]

(intransitive) To decrease in size, value, or amount. [attested since 1325]

(transitive) To moderate; to lessen in force, intensity, to subside. [attested since around 1150 to 1350]

(intransitive) To decrease in intensity or force; to subside. [attested since around 1150 to 1350]

(transitive) To deduct or omit. [attested since around 1350 to 1470]

(transitive) To bar or except. [attested since the late 1500s]

(transitive) To cut away or hammer down, in such a way as to leave a figure in relief, as a sculpture, or in metalwork.

(transitive, obsolete) To dull the edge or point of; to blunt. [attested from the mid 1500s till the late 1600s]

(transitive, archaic) To destroy, or level to the ground. [attested since around 1350 to 1470]


• (bring down or reduce): lessen; diminish; contract; moderate; cut short; decrease; lower; suppress; terminate; remove; remit; slacken

• (diminish in force or intensity): diminish; subside; decline; wane; ebb; mitigate; assuage; temper; alleviate; relax

• (bring someone down): humble; depress; appease; pacify; soothe; soften; tranquilize

• (come to naught): fall through; fail


• (bring down or reduce): augment, accelerate, aggravate, amplify, continue, develop, enhance, enlarge, extend, foment, increase, intensify, magnify, prolong, raise, rise, revive


abate (plural abates)

(obsolete) Abatement. [from around 1400 until the late 1600s]

Etymology 2


abate (third-person singular simple present abates, present participle abating, simple past and past participle abated)

(intransitive, law) to enter a tenement without permission after the owner has died and before the heir takes possession. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]

Etymology 3


abate (plural abates)

an Italian abbot, or other member of the clergy. [First attested in the early 18th century.]


• abeat

Source: Wiktionary

A*bate", v.t. [imp.& p.p. Abated, p.pr. & vb.n. Abating.] Etym: [OF. abatre to beat down, F. abattre, LL. abatere; ab or ad + batere, battere (popular form for L. batuere to beat). Cf. Bate, Batter.]

1. To beat down; to overthrow. [Obs.] The King of Scots . . . sore abated the walls. Edw. Hall.

2. To bring down or reduce from a higher to a lower state, number, or degree; to lessen; to diminish; to contract; to moderate; toto cut short; as, to abate a demand; to abate pride, zeal, hope. His eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. Deut. xxxiv. 7.

3. To deduct; to omit; as, to abate something from a price. Nine thousand parishes, abating the odd hundreds. Fuller.

4. To blunt. [Obs.] To abate the edge of envy. Bacon.

5. To reduce in estimation; to deprive. [Obs.] She hath abated me of half my train. Shak.

6. (Law)

Definition: (a) To bring entirely down or put an end to; to do away with; as, to abate a nuisance, to abate a writ. (b) (Eng. Law) To diminish; to reduce. Legacies are liable to be abated entirely or in proportion, upon a deficiency of assets. To abate a tax, to remit it either wholly or in part.

A*bate", v.i. Etym: [See Abate, v.t.]

1. To decrease, or become less in strength or violence; as, pain abates, a storm abates. The fury of Glengarry . . . rapidly abated. Macaulay.

2. To be defeated, or come to naught; to fall through; to fail; as, a writ abates. To abate into a freehold, To abate in lands (Law), to enter into a freehold after the death of the last possessor, and before the heir takes possession. See Abatement, 4.


– To subside; decrease; intermit; decline; diminish; lessen.

– To Abate, Subside. These words, as here compared, imply a coming down from some previously raised or exited state. Abate expresses this in respect to degrees, and implies a diminution of force or of intensity; as, the storm abates, the cold abates, the force of the wind abates; or, the wind abates, a fever abates. Subside (to settle down) has reference to a previous state of agitation or commotion; as, the waves subside after a storm, the wind subsides into a calm. When the words are used figuratively, the same distinction should be observed. If we conceive of a thing as having different degrees of intensity or strength, the word to be used is abate. Thus we say, a man's anger abates, the ardor of one's love abates, "Winter rage abates". But if the image be that of a sinking down into quiet from preceding excitement or commotion, the word to be used is subside; as, the tumult of the people subsides, the public mind subsided into a calm. The same is the case with those emotions which are tumultuous in their nature; as, his passion subsides, his joy quickly subsided, his grief subsided into a pleasing melancholy. Yet if, in such cases, we were thinking of the degree of violence of the emotion, we might use abate; as, his joy will abate in the progress of time; and so in other instances.

A*bate, n.

Definition: Abatement. [Obs.] Sir T. Browne.

Source: Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary 1913 Edition


Word of the Day

30 September 2023


(noun) sores resulting from a tropical infection by protozoa of the genus Leishmania which are spread by sandflies

coffee icon

Coffee Trivia

Espresso is both a coffee beverage and a brewing method that originated in Italy. When making an espresso, a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure forces through finely-ground coffee beans. It has more caffeine per unit volume than most coffee beverages. Its smaller serving size will take three shots to equal a mug of standard brewed coffee.

coffee icon