Search Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law

abate

abate ə-bāt vb abated abating Old French abattre, literally, to knock down, from a-, prefix stressing result + battre to beat vt 1 a
:to put an end to or do away with ⁓ a nuisance
b
:to make void
:nullify ⁓ an action
2
:to reduce in amount esp. proportionately ⁓ a tax
vi 1
:to become defeated or become null or void when a public officer who is a party to an appeal…in an official capacity dies…the action does not ⁓ Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure Rule 43
2
:to decrease in amount or value the legacies abated proportionately 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 given under the will abates first, residuary devises abate second, general devises abate third, and specific devises abate last.