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Abolish vs. Demolish: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Published on December 24, 2023
Abolish means to formally put an end to a system, practice, or institution. Demolish means to physically tear down or destroy a structure.

Key Differences

Abolish refers to the act of formally ending a system, law, or practice, often through legal or official means. In contrast, demolish implies physically destroying something, especially a building or structure, reducing it to rubble.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 24, 2023
The usage of abolish is typically in the context of social, political, or legal systems, such as abolishing slavery or a law. On the other hand, demolish is used in the context of physical destruction, like demolishing a building to make way for new construction.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 24, 2023
Abolish carries a connotation of progress or improvement by ending something seen as negative or outdated. Conversely, demolish often implies a physical clearing of space, which can be for positive developments or can be seen as destructive.
Huma Saeed
Dec 24, 2023
The process of abolishing is more abstract and intangible, dealing with concepts and laws. Demolishing, in contrast, is a tangible, physical act, often requiring machinery and physical labor.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 24, 2023
Abolish is about ending practices or laws, while demolish is about physically tearing down structures. Both can lead to significant changes, but in different realms - social/legal vs. physical/environmental.
Harlon Moss
Dec 24, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Context

Legal, social systems
Physical structures
Sumera Saeed
Dec 24, 2023

Nature

Abstract, intangible
Concrete, tangible
Sumera Saeed
Dec 24, 2023

Connotation

Ending negative/outdated practices
Physical clearing, destruction
Sumera Saeed
Dec 24, 2023

Method

Legislative, official decisions
Physical labor, machinery
Sumera Saeed
Dec 24, 2023

Outcome

Systemic, conceptual change
Physical, environmental change
Janet White
Dec 24, 2023
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Abolish and Demolish Definitions

Abolish

To formally end a practice.
They voted to abolish the old voting system.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Demolish

To destroy the structure of something.
The storm completely demolished the seaside pier.
Huma Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Abolish

To do away with completely.
The new policy was designed to abolish inefficiencies in the department.
Harlon Moss
Dec 01, 2023

Demolish

To forcefully take apart.
The team demolished the old bridge as part of the reconstruction project.
Janet White
Dec 01, 2023

Abolish

To cease by an authoritative action.
The school board decided to abolish the dress code.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Demolish

To ruin or devastate.
The fire demolished the historic landmark.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Abolish

To officially put an end to a law.
The government decided to abolish the outdated law.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Demolish

To defeat thoroughly.
The home team demolished their rivals in the final match.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 01, 2023

Abolish

To stop something from existing.
The movement aimed to abolish all forms of discrimination.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 01, 2023

Demolish

To tear down a building.
The old factory was demolished to make way for a park.
Janet White
Dec 01, 2023

Abolish

To do away with; put an end to; annul
Voted to abolish the tax.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Demolish

To tear down or break apart the structure of; raze.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Abolish

(Archaic) To destroy completely.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Demolish

To do away with completely; put an end to
The opposing team's home run demolished any hopes we had of winning the game.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Abolish

To end a law, system, institution, custom or practice.
Slavery was abolished in the nineteenth century.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Demolish

To damage (someone's reputation, for example) severely.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Abolish

(archaic) To put an end to or destroy, as a physical object; to wipe out.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Demolish

(literally) To destroy (buildings, etc.), especially in a planned or intentional fashion.
They demolished the old mill and put up four townhouses.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Abolish

To do away with wholly; to annul; to make void; - said of laws, customs, institutions, governments, etc.; as, to abolish slavery, to abolish folly.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Demolish

(figuratively) To defeat, refute, discredit, or consume utterly (as a theory, belief or opponent).
Sumera Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Abolish

To put an end to, or destroy, as a physical objects; to wipe out.
And with thy blood abolish so reproachful blot.
His quick instinctive handCaught at the hilt, as to abolish him.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Demolish

To throw or pull down; to raze; to destroy the fabric of; to pull to pieces; to ruin; as, to demolish an edifice, or a wall.
I expected the fabric of my book would long since have been demolished, and laid even with the ground.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Abolish

Do away with;
Slavery was abolished in the mid-19th century in America and in Russia
Sumera Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Demolish

Destroy completely;
The wrecking ball demolished the building
Demolish your enemies
Pulverize the rebellion before it gets out of hand
Sumera Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Demolish

Humiliate or depress completely;
She was crushed by his refusal of her invitation
The death of her son smashed her
Sumera Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

Demolish

Defeat soundly;
The home team demolished the visitors
Sumera Saeed
Nov 30, 2023

FAQs

What is an example of abolish in a sentence?

"The government plans to abolish the outdated tax law."
Sumera Saeed
Dec 24, 2023

What does abolish mean?

It means to formally end or terminate a system, practice, or law.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 24, 2023

What does demolish mean?

It means to physically destroy or tear down a structure.
Janet White
Dec 24, 2023

Is demolish always negative?

Not necessarily; it can make way for new development.
Janet White
Dec 24, 2023

Does abolish imply improvement?

Often, it implies removing something negative or outdated.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 24, 2023

Can abolish be used for physical objects?

No, it is used for systems, laws, or practices, not physical objects.
Huma Saeed
Dec 24, 2023

Can demolish be used in non-physical contexts?

Typically, it's used for physical destruction, not abstract concepts.
Janet White
Dec 24, 2023

Is abolish a legal term?

It is often used in legal and political contexts.
Janet White
Dec 24, 2023

Can a policy be abolished?

Yes, policies can be abolished through official decisions.
Harlon Moss
Dec 24, 2023

Can a company demolish its products?

Physically, yes, but it's more common to discontinue products.
Janet White
Dec 24, 2023

What is an example of demolish in a sentence?

"The old building was demolished to build a new shopping center."
Aimie Carlson
Dec 24, 2023

Can an idea be demolished?

Not literally; demolish is for physical objects.
Janet White
Dec 24, 2023

What tools are used to demolish?

Heavy machinery like bulldozers and wrecking balls.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 24, 2023

Is demolish only for buildings?

Primarily, but it can apply to other physical structures too.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 24, 2023

Is demolition the same as destruction?

Similar, but demolition is often more controlled and planned.
Harlon Moss
Dec 24, 2023

Is abolish used in everyday language?

Less frequently; it's more formal and specific.
Janet White
Dec 24, 2023

Do both words have the same origin?

No, they have different etymological origins.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 24, 2023

Can a person be demolished?

Not physically; it's used for structures.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 24, 2023

What is the difference between abolish and repeal?

Repeal is often used specifically for laws, while abolish is broader.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 24, 2023

Can abolish have positive implications?

Yes, when it ends negative practices.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 24, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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