Define: Abate

Quick Summary of Abate

In legal terms, “abate” refers to the temporary or permanent cessation, reduction, or elimination of a nuisance, violation, or legal proceeding. Abatement can occur through various means, such as remediation, repair, removal, or settlement. The purpose of abatement is to address and rectify the issue at hand, whether it’s a public nuisance, a violation of regulations, or a legal claim, in order to restore normal conditions or compliance with the law. Abatement actions may be initiated by individuals, authorities, or courts depending on the nature of the situation and the applicable legal framework.

What is the dictionary definition of Abate?
Dictionary Definition of Abate

(of something perceived as hostile, threatening, or negative) become less intense or widespread.

  1. To put an end to; to cause to cease.
  2. To become null and void.
  3. To nullify; make void.
  4. To humble; to lower in status; to bring someone down physically or mentally.
  5. To be humbled; to be brought down physically or mentally.
  6. To curtail; to deprive.
  7. To reduce in amount, size, or value.
  8. To decrease in size, value, or amount.
  9. To moderate; to lessen in force, intensity, to subside.
  10. To decrease in intensity or force; to subside.
  11. To deduct or omit.
  12. To bar or except.
  13. To cut away or hammer down, in such a way as to leave a figure in relief, as a sculpture, or in metalwork.
  14. To dull the edge or point of; to blunt.
  15. To destroy, or level to the ground.
Full Definition Of Abate

To put an end to a problem, or to make void, such as a public or private nuisance. This may cover a dyke which directs water illegally onto a neighbour’s property, loud noise generated from a rock band or factory, or a construction that violates building and safety codes.

Abate FAQ'S

“Abate” means to reduce in intensity, amount, or severity, or to put an end to something, such as a nuisance, violation, or problem.

In legal contexts, “abate” often refers to actions taken to stop or mitigate a nuisance, violation of law, or other legal issue. This could include actions by authorities to remedy violations of building codes, environmental regulations, or public health laws.

Nuisance abatement refers to legal actions taken to eliminate or reduce nuisances that interfere with the use and enjoyment of property or the general public’s well-being. This could include actions to address noise pollution, hazardous conditions, or illegal activities on a property.

Abatement proceedings can be initiated by various parties depending on the nature of the issue. This could include government agencies, law enforcement, property owners, or concerned citizens filing complaints with relevant authorities.

Common examples of abatement actions include issuing citations or fines for code violations, ordering the removal of hazardous materials or structures, shutting down businesses operating without proper permits, or requiring property owners to address environmental hazards.

Legal remedies for abatement may include fines, injunctions, orders to remedy violations, or court-ordered closure of properties or businesses until violations are addressed.

In some cases, individuals may have the right to abate nuisances on their own property, but they must do so within the bounds of the law and without violating others’ rights. However, it’s often advisable to involve authorities to ensure proper legal procedures are followed.

The timeline for abating a nuisance can vary depending on the nature of the issue, the legal processes involved, and the cooperation of property owners or responsible parties. Some nuisances may be abated relatively quickly, while others may require ongoing efforts or legal proceedings.

If a property owner fails to abate a nuisance after being notified by authorities, they may face escalating fines, legal action, or even seizure or condemnation of the property in extreme cases.

Property owners may have legal defences against abatement actions, such as proving that they were not aware of the nuisance, that they were not responsible for its creation, or that they have taken reasonable steps to address the issue. However, the defences available vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case.


This site contains general legal information but does not constitute professional legal advice for your particular situation. Persuing this glossary does not create an attorney-client or legal adviser relationship. If you have specific questions, please consult a qualified attorney licensed in your jurisdiction.

This glossary post was last updated: 29th March 2024.

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