What is the difference between "take away" & "abolish"? can they convey the same meaning? I looked up to dictionaries, while didn't get a good result.

Take away: remove
Abolish: To do away with; put an end to

for example:

1.we should take the former rules away.
2.we should abolish the rules.

does "1" equal to "2"? If not, what is the difference?

  • 1
    They can mean the same, but they might not. If I take away your supper that does not mean that supper has been abolished.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 28, 2015 at 22:45
  • when will they have the same meaning? it will be nice if you can give me some examples.
    – July
    Dec 28, 2015 at 22:51
  • 2
    If I take away your supper, you don't get to eat supper tonight. If I abolish your supper, you don't get to eat supper ever again. I'd say it's pretty rare for "abolish" to be as weak as "take away".
    – Hellion
    Dec 28, 2015 at 22:55
  • oh, that's very clear. thank you for your answer!!!!
    – July
    Dec 28, 2015 at 22:58
  • 1

2 Answers 2


Abolish is generally done to an idea, such as an Institution, Practice or System. President Lincoln abolished the institution of slavery. In contemporary society, we want to abolish the idea of hate crime.

Parents do not abolish an unruly child's toy - the toy gets taken away. The implication is that good behavior will lead to the toy's reinstatement. Good behavior (on anyone's part) will never lead to the re-institutionalization of slavery.

Great word that, re-institutionalization.


to take away = to remove something; to abolish = to leave behind == to remove/distance yourself from something;

so, in comparison to the upper example: parents can either remove a toy as punishement or abolish the spoiled child by leaving it in the forrest.

  • To abolish is to get rid of, not to leave behind.
    – rjpond
    Apr 17, 2021 at 17:36
  • This is nonsense. A complete misunderstaning of the word abolish.
    – Chenmunka
    Apr 17, 2021 at 17:50

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