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The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.



abate vb

[Old French abattre, literally, to knock down, from a-, prefix stressing result + battre to beat]
1 a : to put an end to or do away with [ a nuisance]
b : make void
: nullify [ an action]
2 : to reduce in amount esp. proportionately [ a tax]
1 : to become defeated or become null or void [when a public officer is a party to an appeal…in an official capacity and during its pendency dies…the action does not "Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure Rule 43"]
2 : to decrease in amount or value [the legacies abated proportionately] NOTE: A problem arises in estate law when the amount of the bequests and devises made in a will exceeds the assets available in the estate. In such a case, some or all of the bequests and devises may have to be abated to make up the deficit. Under the Uniform Probate Code, property in the estate that is not specifically given under the will abates first, residuary devises abate second, general devises abate third, and specific devises abate last.

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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