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

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb By the 1960s, the practice of dissolving another culture’s death masks on the off chance of finding a manuscript had been all but abandoned, as much for ethical reasons as for the lackluster results. Ariel Sabar, The Atlantic, "A Mystery at Oxford," 13 May 2020 The conference will also abandon divisions for the regular season and expand that schedule from 18 to 20 games. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "MAC trims basketball tournaments, cuts eight other postseasons completely," 12 May 2020 Google Play Music has been abandoned for several years now, with the last major feature—AI-powered radio stations—coming in 2016. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Google Play Music dies this year, YT Music library imports begin today," 12 May 2020 Lawmakers have not abandoned every big-ticket item. Alexei Koseff, SFChronicle.com, "‘Whole new crisis’: California lawmakers wrestle with coronavirus on top of housing shortages," 9 May 2020 Most of the Ebola vaccine studies were abandoned along the way: The epidemic died out before researchers could recruit enough participants. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "Regulators would consider releasing an unapproved coronavirus vaccine," 8 May 2020 The requirement was abandoned as part of social-distancing efforts by the state. Ezra Dyer, Car and Driver, "Georgia Gets Rid of Driver's License Road Tests during Pandemic," 30 Apr. 2020 Just last October, the United States abandoned the Kurds again. Kevin Baker, Harper's Magazine, "The Striking Gesture," 27 Apr. 2020 The American federal government has abandoned the field in recent years. Melody Schreiber, The New Republic, "The Coronavirus and the Limits of Individual Climate Action," 27 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun With the invention of fracking, which allows companies to tap into deep shale deposits of oil and gas, American producers were able to drill with abandon. Ula Chrobak, Popular Science, "The environment won’t be helped by oil producers declaring bankruptcy," 29 Apr. 2020 Some became vegetarians, yes, but others ate meat with abandon. Mary Hadar, Washington Post, "‘Miracle’ cures that hold lessons for Western medicine," 6 Mar. 2020 And going to a store to buy essentials is suddenly a surreal experience of observing hoarders behaving with territorial abandon. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Coronavirus outbreak adds to bereaved spouse’s sense of isolation," 7 Apr. 2020 That China, where the outbreak started, pursued such a policy with an abandon never seen before, and subsequently reported spectacular falls in the rate of new infections, is doubtless another reason. The Economist, "Between tragedies and statistics The hard choices covid policymakers face," 4 Apr. 2020 The next morning, everyone lets loose, dancing with abandon, flinging fistfuls of bright, powdered dye, and drenching each other with jets of water from pichkaris (water guns). National Geographic, "5 must-do travel experiences in March," 28 Feb. 2020 In his gap-control defense, linebackers don’t charge downhill with abandon, which would leave the middle of the field open to passes. Garry Smits, orlandosentinel.com, "Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack says he needs to make quicker decisions to deliver big plays," 22 Nov. 2019 Curreri courted his musical ambitions with characteristic abandon. Brendan Fitzgerald, Longreads, "“I miss my body when it was ferocious” The Transfiguration of Paul Curreri," 14 Mar. 2020 Her instrument is her voice, over simple guitar strums, and her message is a kind of screw-it-all abandon. Raisa Bruner, Time, "The Best New Songs of the Week, From the Dixie Chicks to Bad Bunny," 6 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for abandon

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for abandon

Last Updated

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Abandon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abandon. Accessed 24 May. 2020.

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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
How to pronounce abandon (audio)

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.

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.

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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

Comments on abandon

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