Abo'rtive. n.s. That which is born before the due time. See Abortive, adj.
No common wind, no customed event,
But they will pluck away its nat'ral causes,
And call them meteors, prodigies, and signs,
Abortives, and presages, tongues of heav'n
Plainly denouncing vengeance upon John. Shakes. K. John.
Take the fine skin of an abortive, and, with starch thin laid on, prepare your ground or tablet. Peacham on Drawing.
This is certain, that many are, by this means, preserved, and do signal service to their country, who, without such a provision, might have perished as abortives, or have come to an untimely end, and perhaps have brought, upon their guilty parents, the like destruction. Addison, Guardian, № 106.