Abatement Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

Read on to discover everything you need to know about the meaning abatement including its definition, origin, and more.

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Pop quiz — what do a tax decrease, a reduction in penalties, and a rebate all have in common?

If you guessed that they are all examples of an abatement, you’d be correct! That said, what exactly does the word abatement mean? We’ll tell you. Read on as we explore abatement to uncover its definition, origin, synonyms, and more. 

What Is the Definition of Abatement?

Abatement is a reduction in the degree or amount of anything. More often than not, you will see the word of the day used in a business or legal sense. 

Abatement in the business world refers to a reduction or reprieve from taxes, debts, as well as various other payment obligations that a company or an individual may be faced with. Most commonly, you will see abatement in the form of tax abatement.  

In a legal sense, abatement can also be used to reference a situation in which a price or rate may be lowered or raised slower than it previously was — as well as a reduction in levels (most commonly toxic and harmful chemicals).

Basically, abatement is the act of abating (reduction, ending, or lessening a specific thing): Think police officers enforce noise abatement.

Another meaning behind abatement takes us back to the 13th century and the use of heraldic symbols by European nobility. In heraldry, abatement (also called rebatement) is a mark of change in the coat of arms that was intended to signify the owner’s disgrace.

What Is the Etymology of Abatement?

While we are on the topic of the 13th century and the history behind abatement, let’s talk about the etymology of abatement. Etymology is the study of a word’s origins and how it developed over the course of history. 

Abatement was first noted in Middle English around the 13th century. Abatement is a derivative of two Old French Words: abatement (overthrowing) and abatre (reduce; strike down). Though it wasn’t until the 1520s that abatement was used to reference the abatement of a nuisance (or removal of a nuisance), this is now the most commonly seen use of the term. 

What Are the Synonyms of Abatement?

To further our understanding of the meaning behind abatement, let’s take a look at words, phrases, and even abbreviations that have the same or similar meaning. You guessed it — it’s time to look at the synonyms of abatement.

Listed below, with the help of Power Thesaurus, are several synonyms of abatement: 

  • Subsidence 
  • Let up
  • Lessening
  • Dropping away
  • Rebate
  • clemency
  • Drop off
  • Mitigation
  • Petering out
  • Diminution 
  • Postponement of punishment
  • Cooling off
  • Dying down
  • Ebb
  • Downturn
  • Tapering off
  • Alleviation
  • Remission
  • Dulling
  • Relief
  • Depreciation
  • Write off
  • Docking
  • Knock off
  • Discounting
  • Abolishment
  • Nullification
  • Suspension of punishment

What Are the Antonyms of Abatement?

Now let’s touch a bit on words with the opposite meaning — antonyms. Thanks to Power Thesaurus, we have listed below a few of the various antonyms of abatement:

  • Boost
  • Enlargement
  • Step up
  • Nervous tension
  • Swell
  • Enrichment
  • Raise
  • Rise 
  • Additional charge
  • Collecting
  • Breakthrough
  • Attainment
  • Inflation 
  • Hidden extra
  • Surge
  • Accumulation
  • Amassing
  • Spike 
  • Elevation
  • Intensification
  • Uptick 
  • Extra charge
  • Surcharge
  • Addition
  • Small increase

What Are Translations of Abatement?

Abatement is not only used in American English but in languages from all corners of the world — though not always a single word or direct translation. Below you will find a few of the various translations of abatement:

  • Dutch — vermindering, korting
  • French — la réduction, la diminution, réduction du bruit (noise abatement)
  • Arabic — انحسار (ainhisar)
  • Russian — снижение, уменьшение
  • Macedonian — намалување на
  • Polish — obniżka, rabat
  • Ukrainian — зменшення, зменшення шуму (noise abatement)
  • Italian — la riduzione
  • Spanish — la disminución
  • Chinese — 减排 (Jiǎn pái), 缓和 (Huǎnhé)
  • Danish — nedskæring, støjreduktion (noise abatement)
  • German — minderung, die verminderung

How Can You Use Abatement in a Sentence?

Now that we have covered all things abatements, from its etymology to its translations and all the meanings in between, it’s time we put it to paper. 

One of the best methods of retaining this new knowledge is through repetition, and that’s just what the next step is. Push yourself and see how many example sentences you can come up with by utilizing all the things we have discussed about abatement in this article today! 

If you are still a little uneasy or just need a nudge in the right direction, we have listed a few example sentences below:

We were able to take advantage of a killer property tax abatement program, and our property tax payments are basically zero now!

My uncle Jack ran an asbestos abatement company for years until he retired.

Grandad may have always said it was our legacy to continue in his footsteps, but after the abatement of debts, we were only left with a single boot. 


Simply put, abatement is the lessening or reduction of something. For the most part, the word of the day — abatement is used as a legal term. For instance, there are countless cities that offer startups tax abatements if they choose to build in areas the city is currently trying to develop. 


Abatement | Power Thesaurus 

Abatement | The Cambridge Unabridged English Dictionary

Abatement English Definition and Meaning | Lexico.com 

Abatement | Collins Unabridged English Dictionary