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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from abandon

Verb

abandoner 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

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Biden Admin did not only abandon our citizens and Afghan partners. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, 31 Aug. 2021 But as the response at the rally showed, if forced to choose, a good portion of the base would abandon Trump. Nicole Hemmer, CNN, 26 Aug. 2021 If corporations hire more people, those who started companies after being laid off may abandon their ventures. BostonGlobe.com, 25 Aug. 2021 Those attractive high prices are encouraging ships to abandon other routes, causing the problem to spread. New York Times, 23 Aug. 2021 Growers may abandon their orchards as water becomes harder to come by and more expensive. Justin Ray, Los Angeles Times, 18 Aug. 2021 Some, said Marguerite Paradis, Grossmont’s director of emergency services and critical care, quickly abandon the state’s mandate that all patients, visitors and staff should wear masks during all health care visits. San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Aug. 2021 One of Elric’s first actions is to abandon his post as king, for example. Nicholas Pompella, National Review, 7 Aug. 2021 Many are opting to stay and build, not abandon, their hometowns—and among those that are leaving for now, most want to ultimately return. Gigi Georges, Time, 6 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The skin-revealing slashes on Hadid’s top are a signature of Columbia’s designs, applied with reckless abandon to his slinky dresses, bike shorts, and sweaters. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 16 Aug. 2021 Keep the jar or container in the fridge and use it with reckless abandon. Haneen J. Iqbal, Bon Appétit, 5 Aug. 2021 Ford played at least 15 snaps during Friday’s practice and rushed with abandon, falling hard to the ground at one point with no ill effects. Eric Branch, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 Aug. 2021 Friday’s opener was rock trio Radkey, a literal band of brothers who played with the carefree, infectious abandon of kids playing rock stars in their bedroom. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 Aug. 2021 Jackson Pollock dripping expensive oil paints with reckless abandon. Anthony Veasna So, The New Yorker, 5 July 2021 From the start, Sheldon was bothered by South Medford’s full-court pressure as the Panthers played with reckless abandon. oregonlive, 24 June 2021 Aside from perusing social media, where photos of the action will probably be posted with reckless abandon, websites will be hosting the event live, via video. BostonGlobe.com, 9 June 2021 But Dallas also attacked RSL with reckless abandon all night and earned 15 corner kicks. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 May 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About abandon

Time Traveler for abandon

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast About abandon

Dictionary Entries Near abandon

abampere

abandon

abandon/drop all pretense at

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for abandon

Last Updated

11 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Abandon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abandon. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for abandon

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 {amp} 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.

Choose the Right Synonym for abandon

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.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on abandon

Nglish: Translation of abandon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abandon for Arabic Speakers

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!