person who favors doing away with some law, custom, or institution, 1792, originally in reference to the trans-Atlantic slave trade, from abolition + -ist. By 1825 (in Britain) in reference to abolition of slavery as an institution. In Britain, applied 20c. to advocates of ending capital punishment. In a general sense, abolisher has been used at least since 1742.
updated on October 03, 2016