means properly “to knock down.” (French,
abattre, whence a
battue, i.e., wholesale
destruction of game; O.E. a
Abate, in horsemanship, is to perform
well the downward motion. A horse is said to abate when, working upon
curvets, he puts or beats down both his hind legs
to the ground at once, and keeps exact time.
Abatement in heraldry, is a
mark of dishonour annexed to coat armour, whereby the honour of it is
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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