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

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

Her body was discovered Monday, July 29, about 30 feet down in an abandoned well. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "4th person jailed in brutal murder of Willoe Watkins," 15 Sep. 2019 Earlier this year in Rann, where there is no lighting after sundown, disgruntled soldiers without night vision gear abandoned their posts, according to several aid workers. Dionne Searcey, New York Times, "Boko Haram Is Back. With Better Drones.," 13 Sep. 2019 The van was abandoned in St. Johns in Apache County with the prison guards and another prisoner bound inside. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Fugitive couple Blane and Susan Barksdale were hiding in remote area of Gila County," 12 Sep. 2019 But on September 9th its departure halls were almost completely abandoned. The Economist, "What lies behind the strike that has grounded British Airways," 12 Sep. 2019 Bligh’s car was found abandoned the day after the fire. Fox News, "Husband-wife Arizona murder suspects nabbed after three-week manhunt; had 'overpowered' guards in Utah: report," 12 Sep. 2019 When the teams met at Stade de France in 2001, the match was abandoned after Algerian supporters went onto the field with France leading, 4-1, late in the second half. BostonGlobe.com, "Antonio Delamea," 11 Sep. 2019 Some of those vehicles, however, have not been abandoned and instead, serve as homes for residents and families. Maggie Angst, The Mercury News, "Overnight parking program for vehicle dwellers gains momentum in Palo Alto," 11 Sep. 2019 The darker aspects of the comic were abandoned for the more kid-friendly animated series, although Edlund kept the satire, absurdist/surreal scenarios, and cheeky irreverence. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Ars celebrates 25 years of The Tick by picking our top ten favorite episodes," 10 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The worst offenders are the images of relaxed mothers doing yoga, drinking enough water, eating perfect combinations of carbs and protein, and laughing with careless abandon at their child’s antics. Nefertiti Austin, Washington Post, "The ugly, exhausting reality of parenting, and why we hide it from our children," 26 Aug. 2019 The pace of the melodrama is exhausting as cutbacks to the past are interspersed with abandon. Garrett Mitchell, Detroit Free Press, "Visually appealing ‘Goldfinch’ is far from a masterpiece," 12 Sep. 2019 Mitchell’s willingness to attack the tin with abandon sets him apart from much of Team USA. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "Team USA’s Backup Squad Finally Falls in FIBA World Cup," 11 Sep. 2019 Luckily, my father and Fridolína always admired my dance performances, found great promise in my drawings, and praised and encouraged me with abandon. Zuzana Justman, The New Yorker, "My Terezín Diary," 9 Sep. 2019 The environment is destructible, so Faden can toss staplers, paperwork, and office chairs around with abandon. Matthew Gault, Time, "'Control' Feels Like What Would Happen if David Lynch Made a Video Game," 5 Sep. 2019 Special effects were loaded into the production — laser lights, rising platforms, fireworks sprays, confetti and streamers — and the quintet romped among them with abandon. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al, "Does Birmingham still care about the Backstreet Boys? (Spoiler alert: Yes!)," 5 Sep. 2019 Much of this is accomplished by a menu that smashes together British, American, French, Asian and Spanish influences with abandon, dropping some amazing flavor bombs on the table. al, "Squid Ink happens: Downtown Mobile gets new flavors," 5 Aug. 2019 The naturally fit partner Signs this is your partner: He or she is blessed with a speedy metabolism, and often super-fit (with a high muscle mass), eating with abandon, without a thought to calories. Madelyn Fernstrom, NBC News, "Dr. Fernstrom: Is your partner sabotaging your health?," 30 July 2019

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

5 Oct 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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