abandon

verb
aban·​don | \ ə-ˈban-dən How to pronounce abandon (audio) \
abandoned; abandoning; abandons

Definition of abandon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to give up to the control or influence of another person or agent
b : to give up with the intent of never again claiming a right or interest in abandon property
2 : to withdraw from often in the face of danger or encroachment abandon ship soldiers forced to abandon their position
3 : to withdraw protection, support, or help from he abandoned his family
4 : to give (oneself) over unrestrainedly abandoned himself to a life of self-indulgence
5a : to cease from maintaining, practicing, or using abandoned their native language
b : to cease intending or attempting to perform abandoned the escape

abandon

noun

Definition of abandon (Entry 2 of 2)

: a thorough yielding to natural impulses especially : enthusiasm, exuberance with reckless abandon

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Other Words from abandon

Verb

abandoner noun
abandonment \ -​dən-​mənt How to pronounce abandonment (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for abandon

Verb

abandon, desert, forsake mean to leave without intending to return. abandon suggests that the thing or person left may be helpless without protection. abandoned children desert implies that the object left may be weakened but not destroyed by one's absence. a deserted town forsake suggests an action more likely to bring impoverishment or bereavement to that which is forsaken than its exposure to physical dangers. a forsaken lover

synonyms see in addition relinquish

Verb

abandon, desert, and forsake mean to give up completely. abandon is used when someone has no interest in what happens to the person or thing he or she has given up. She abandoned the wrecked car on the side of the road. desert is used when a person leaves something to which he or she has a duty or responsibility. He deserted his family. forsake is used when a person is leaving someone or something for which he or she once had affection. Don't forsake old friends in times of trouble.

Did You Know?

Noun

The sense of "abandon" defined above is a relative newcomer to the English language, dating from the early 1800s, but the noun itself is about 200 years older, having been first used in the 1600s in the sense of "the act of abandoning." The earlier sense was influenced by the verb "abandon," which was borrowed by Middle English in the 1300s from Anglo-French abandoner. The Anglo-French term in turn came from the phrase (mettre) a bandun, meaning "to hand over" or "put in someone's control." The newer sense has been more directly influenced by French abandon, which means not only "abandonment or surrender," but also "freedom from constraint."

Examples of abandon in a Sentence

Verb

They abandoned the car on a back road. That house was abandoned years ago. The approaching fire forced hundreds of people to abandon their homes. The officer refused to abandon his post. The policy abandons the most vulnerable members of society. She abandoned the party not long after the election.

Noun

added spices to the stew with complete abandon
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That's what happened last weekend when the White House abandoned its threat to impose punishing tariffs on Mexico. Matt Egan, CNN, "America's CFOs are bracing for a 2020 recession," 12 June 2019 Vacant and abandoned housing is a big problem in Indianapolis. James Briggs, Indianapolis Star, "11 times Mayor Joe Hogsett said misleading things about his blighted housing fix," 11 June 2019 But those fairs aren’t situated along this urban stretch of road, flanked by used car lots and abandoned child care centers and rundown homes. Amber Hunt, Cincinnati.com, "Tired and worn: Hamilton County Fairgrounds, once a statewide draw, now on life support," 11 June 2019 Experts and state officials agree that state funding is the most important key to cleaning abandoned and polluted industrial sites. Michael Puffer, courant.com, "When industry departs, municipalities can be stuck with costly, blighted brownfield sites," 10 June 2019 Officers were able to locate Bland and follow him to a neighborhood off Glassford Hill Road, but Bland abandoned his vehicle and ran. Aubrey Carpenter, azcentral, "Prescott police go on high-speed chase after man with an arrest warrant," 7 June 2019 University of Portland campus security officers contacted police the next day after finding an abandoned Honda with a smashed front windshield near campus, almost two miles from where Bosch was hit, the affidavit said. oregonlive.com, "Driver arrested 2 months after leaving Portland crash that killed pedestrian, authorities say," 7 June 2019 Meanwhile, industry heavyweights such as Uber have abandoned the self-driving-semi-truck concept altogether. Drew Dorian, Car and Driver, "U.S. Postal Service Testing Mail Transport in Self-Driving Semi Trucks," 24 May 2019 Le Pen has already shifted away from her longstanding position of abandoning the EU and the euro, the common currency that is used by 19 EU nations. Lori Hinnant, The Seattle Times, "Tech could unite Europe’s populists ahead of EU vote in May," 19 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

From lining the playroom with an old shower curtain so your child can finger paint with abandon to letting him co-opt all the pillows in the house to build a killer fort, figure out ways to make your child's creative chaos tolerable for you. Tehrene Firman, Redbook, "7 Ways You Can Teach Your Kid to Spend Time Alone Without Throwing a Tablet in Their Face," 29 Sep. 2017 Meanwhile, although Donald is still a net importer, his compatriot producers are pumping with abandon and are bound to flood the market come mid-2019. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "OPEC Heads for an Awkward Meeting," 23 Nov. 2018 The cover of the show’s excellent catalog has a picture of the platform Renoir built onto the swing so that his huge, cumbersome camera could move with the same abandon as the women. Thomas Hine, Philly.com, "At Barnes, two Renoirs - father and son - share one show, diminishing the impact of both," 3 May 2018 The 22-year-old Roest raced with the ruthless abandon of an Olympic rookie and set an early time of 1 minute, 44.86 seconds over a distance where racers either set off fast and try to hold on or pace themselves throughout. USA TODAY, "Nuis makes sure Dutch stay good as gold at Olympic Oval," 13 Feb. 2018 But there’s something universal in its haze of raw abandon twinned with slinking fears of time passing and doors closing. August Brown, latimes.com, "Joe Cardamone of the Icarus Line finds faith in music after a string of tragedies," 20 June 2018 Keegan Siebken, as Matt, combines the arrogance of youth and the abandon of first love in character that grows into a caring man. Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "In Tandem gets 'The Fantasticks' right," 30 Apr. 2018 That spirit of on-the-fly abandon was pervasive throughout the set. Chris Nashawaty, SI.com, "Inside the Caddyshack Scene That Squashed the Bill Murray-Chevy Chase Beef," 17 Apr. 2018 Much to our delight, the royal family has been churning out Christmas content with abandon. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Listen to Prince Charles Read an Excerpt from Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol," 17 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abandon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of abandon

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1815, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abandon

Verb

Middle English abandounen, borrowed from Anglo-French abanduner, derivative of abandun "surrender, abandonment," from the phrase a bandun "in one's power, at one's disposal," from a "at, to" (going back to Latin ad "to") + bandun "jurisdiction," going back to a Gallo-Romance derivative of Old Low Franconian *bann- "summons, command" (with -d- probably from outcomes of Germanic *bandwō "sign") — more at at entry 1, ban entry 1, banner entry 1

Noun

borrowed from French, in part derivative of abandonner "to abandon," in part going back to Old French abandon, abandun "surrender" — more at abandon entry 1

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Statistics for abandon

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for abandon

The first known use of abandon was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for abandon

abandonment

noun

Financial Definition of abandonment

What It Is

In the business world, abandonment refers to the purposeful surrender of ownership of an asset.

How It Works

For example, let's assume that Company XYZ owns an oil processing facility in Nigeria. The government has become very unstable there, and because the company cannot lift up and move the facility, it abandons the property and leaves the country. In doing so, it may be able to recoup some of the costs via tax deductions or other measures, but Company XYZ has surrendered its ownership of the facility.

People who trade commodities and other items using forward contracts also might be able to abandon the underlying assets by undertaking another trade that avoids having to take delivery of the assets.

Why It Matters

Abandoning assets is not as easy as abandoning an empty candy wrapper in the street. Companies often have to calculate the abandonment value of the assets they have left behind or that no longer have financial value, and usually they must get permission from various government entities to let go of physical assets. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Statement 71 provides guidance about how companies are to account for abandoned property.

Source: Investing Answers

abandon

verb

English Language Learners Definition of abandon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to leave and never return to (someone who needs protection or help)
: to leave and never return to (something)
: to leave (a place) because of danger

abandon

noun

English Language Learners Definition of abandon (Entry 2 of 2)

: a feeling or attitude of wild or complete freedom

abandon

verb
aban·​don | \ ə-ˈban-dən How to pronounce abandon (audio) \
abandoned; abandoning

Kids Definition of abandon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to leave and never return to : give up completely They had to abandon the sinking ship.
2 : to stop having or doing Never abandon hope. … Mr. Popper had abandoned his telephoning …— Richard and Florence Atwater, Mr. Popper's Penguins

Other Words from abandon

abandonment \ -​mənt \ noun

abandon

noun

Kids Definition of abandon (Entry 2 of 2)

: a feeling of complete freedom Grandpa drove with reckless abandon.

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abandon

transitive verb
aban·​don

Legal Definition of abandon

1 : to give up with the intent of never again asserting or claiming an interest in (a right or property)
2 : to disassociate oneself from or forsake in spite of a duty or responsibility to abandon one's child
3 : to renounce one's obligations and rights under abandon a contract
4 : to fail purposely to bring to completion or fruition abandon a crime abandon a lawsuit

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More from Merriam-Webster on abandon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abandon

Spanish Central: Translation of abandon

Nglish: Translation of abandon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abandon for Arabic Speakers

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