Examples of abeyance in a sentence
<our weekend plans were held in abeyance until we could get a weather forecast>
Did You Know?
Abeyance has something in common with "yawn." Today, "yawn" implies sleep or boredom, but years ago it could also signify longing or desire ("Full many men know I that yawn and gape after some fat and rich benefice"-Thomas Hoccleve, 1420). The Old French word for "yawn" was "baer," which joined the prefix a- ("in a state or condition of") to form "abaer," a verb meaning "to expect" or "await." There followed Anglo-French abeyance, which referred to a state of expectation-specifically, a person's expectation of inheriting a title or property. But when we adopted "abeyance" into English in the 16th century, we applied the expectation to the property itself: a property or title "in abeyance" is in temporary limbo, waiting to be claimed by a rightful heir or owner.
Origin of abeyance
Anglo-French, from Old French abaer to expect, await, literally, to gape, from a- + baer to gape, yawn — more at BAY
First Known Use: 1640
Medical Definition of abeyance
: temporary inactivity or suspension (as of function or a symptom)
Legal Definition of abeyance
1 : a lapse in the succession of property during which there is no person in whom title to the property is vested —usually used with in <the estate was in abeyance>
2 : temporary inactivity or suppression : cessation or suspension for a period of time —usually used with in or into <to hold the entry of summary judgment in abeyance — J. H. Friedenthal et al.>
Origin of abeyance
Middle French abeance expectation (of a title or claimant), from abaer to expect, from a-, prefix stressing result + baer to gape, aim at
Seen and Heard
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