abandon

verb
aban·​don | \ə-ˈban-dən \
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 \ 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

And, sadly, there have been at least three instances where babies have been born in airplane bathrooms and abandoned by their mothers. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "What Happens to Babies Born on Planes," 26 Oct. 2018 Remember when Kevin abandoned his play on opening night to run across town and comfort Randall during his breakdown? Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "'This Is Us' Recap: Jack and an Adult Kate Appeared Together for the First Time and It Was Emotional," 10 Oct. 2018 Randall decides to stay home, abandoning his dreams of studying at Howard University. Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Is Us Season 2 Episode 2 Deals Randall a Truly Devastating Blow," 3 Oct. 2018 Prosecutors charged six police officers for Gray’s death but abandoned the case after three were acquitted. Brad Heath, USA TODAY, "Baltimore police stopped noticing crime after Freddie Gray's death. A wave of killings followed.," 12 July 2018 Dozens of neglected and abandoned animals being cared for at the Houston SPCA need a home. Staff Reports, Houston Chronicle, "Pet of the Week: Here are the Houston SPCA animals that need homes now," 12 July 2018 For some, like Scott Dozier and the approximately 140 inmates who have abandoned their appeals in the last four decades, death represents a better option than a life spent stuck behind bars hoping for a judge to rule in their favor. Abdullah Shihipar, Teen Vogue, "Lethal Injection Drugs and the Death Penalty, Explained," 30 Oct. 2018 The idea of abandoning State Police stations on the islands has been pitched before. Todd Wallack, BostonGlobe.com, "For some State Police, it’s a posting in paradise," 14 July 2018 The letter comes days after the North Korean Foreign Ministry released a statement accusing the U.S. of trying to unilaterally pressure the country into abandoning its nuclear weapons. Katherine Lam, Fox News, "Kim Jong Un sends Trump a 'very nice' letter, teases possible 2nd meeting," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As often as not this season, models’ fingers were laden with rings (toes, too, at Chloé), bracelets were stacked up arms (à la Nancy Cunard), and necklaces were layered with abandon. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Fresh From the Spring 2019 Runways, 7 New Jewelry Trends and How to Wear Them," 15 Oct. 2018 Subsidies and incentives, on the other hand, have been used with abandon for decades. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "Red or blue, cities and states will likely pay to play for Amazon HQ2," 2 Feb. 2018 Metzman supposes with abandon, goes in for a few red herrings, and doesn’t shy away from financial forensics. Beth Kephart, Philly.com, "Frances Metzman's 'Cha-Cha Babes of Pelican Bay': The rules of dancing, life, and rocking thongs in a retirement village," 6 July 2018 The 2-year-old ran through the splash pad at Owen Bell Park with abandon. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Keeping Cool At Owen Bell Park," 11 July 2018 The league has allowed its teams to tank with abandon. Jon Tayler, SI.com, "Rob Manfred and MLB's Declining Attendance Issue," 15 June 2018 That’s the big consequence from a ruling that liberates state and local politicians to tax the internet nationwide with abandon. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Springtime for Internet Taxers," 21 June 2018 This seasonal holiday falls directly at the midpoint between spring and summer, and it's rooted in abandon and pure fun. refinery29.com, "Why Beltane May Be The Biggest Party In Paganism," 30 Apr. 2018 Its members wield machetes, kill with abandon and terrorize — for the most part in immigrant communities. Ron Nixon, Liz Robbins And Katie Benner, New York Times, "Trump Targets MS-13, a Violent Menace, if Not the One He Portrays," 1 Mar. 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

16 Nov 2018

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 \
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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