1

abandon

play
verb aban·don \ə-ˈban-dən\
Updated on: 26 Jul 2017

Definition of abandon

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1a :  to give up to the control or influence of another person or agentb :  to give up with the intent of never again claiming a right or interest in abandon property

  3. 2 :  to withdraw from often in the face of danger or encroachment abandon ship soldiers forced to abandon their position

  4. 3 :  to withdraw protection, support, or help from he abandoned his family

  5. 4 :  to give (oneself) over unrestrainedly abandoned himself to a life of self-indulgence

  6. 5a :  to cease from maintaining, practicing, or using abandoned their native languageb :  to cease intending or attempting to perform abandoned the escape

abandoner

noun

abandonment

play \-dən-mənt\ noun

abandon was our Word of the Day on 03/03/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of abandon in a Sentence

  1. They abandoned the car on a back road.

  2. That house was abandoned years ago.

  3. The approaching fire forced hundreds of people to abandon their homes.

  4. The officer refused to abandon his post.

  5. The policy abandons the most vulnerable members of society.

  6. She abandoned the party not long after the election.

Recent Examples of abandon from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of abandon

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 1at, 1ban, 1banner

Synonym Discussion of abandon

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


2

abandon

noun aban·don

Definition of abandon

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

Examples of abandon in a Sentence

  1. added spices to the stew with complete abandon

Recent Examples of abandon from the Web

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.

Did You Know?

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."

Origin and Etymology of abandon

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


Financial Definition of ABANDON

abandon

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.



ABANDON Defined for English Language Learners

abandon

play
verb

Definition of abandon for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of abandon for English Language Learners

  • : a feeling or attitude of wild or complete freedom


ABANDON Defined for Kids

1

abandon

play
verb aban·don \ə-ˈban-dən\

Definition of abandon for Students

abandoned

;

abandoning

  1. 1 :  to leave and never return to :  give up completely They had to abandon the sinking ship.

  2. 2 :  to stop having or doing Never abandon hope. … Mr. Popper had abandoned his telephoning … — Richard and Florence Atwater, Mr. Popper's Penguins

abandonment

\-mənt\ noun

2

abandon

play
noun aban·don

Definition of abandon for Students

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


Law Dictionary

abandon

transitive verb aban·don

Legal Definition of abandon

  1. 1 :  to give up with the intent of never again asserting or claiming an interest in (a right or property)

  2. 2 :  to disassociate oneself from or forsake in spite of a duty or responsibility to abandon one's child

  3. 3 :  to renounce one's obligations and rights under abandon a contract

  4. 4 :  to fail purposely to bring to completion or fruition abandon a crime abandon a lawsuit



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