Comparison definition. Although the term 'abatement' is sometimes used loosely as a substitute for 'stay of proceedings,' the two may be distinguished on several grounds. For example, when grounds for abatement of an action exist, the abatement of the action is a matter of right, but a stay is granted in the court's discretion. And in proper circumstances a court may stay a proceeding pending the outcome of another proceeding although a strict plea in abatement could not be sustained.' 1 Am. Jur. 2d Abatement, Survival, and Revival § 3 (1994).