aban·​don·​ment | \ ə-ˈban-dən-mənt How to pronounce abandonment (audio) \

Definition of abandonment

1 : the act of abandoning something or someone In its family and social contexts, he argues, the abandonment of children was, if not a "good thing," at least the most feasible means of family limitation during the many centuries when other methods were largely ineffective or, in the case of Christians, prohibited.— Mary Martin McLaughlin
2 : the state of being abandoned fear of abandonment The opulence of her life as an expat wife failed to soothe her feelings of abandonment, boredom and oppression.— Bob Shacochis sometimes used before another noun abandonment issues

First Known Use of abandonment

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for abandonment

Time Traveler

The first known use of abandonment was in 1593

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Cite this Entry

“Abandonment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abandonment. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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Legal Definition of abandonment

1 : the act of abandoning property or a right: as
a : relinquishment by an inventor of the right to enforce a patent — see also dedication
b : an author's relinquishment to the public domain of his or her copyrighted work
c : relinquishment of a trademark established by a failure to use the trademark and an intention never to resume use
d : the act of an insured in surrendering all rights to damaged or lost property to an insurer as a total loss — compare salvage sense 2b
e : relinquishment by a trustee in bankruptcy of interest in property in the bankruptcy estate often for a nominal sum
2 : the act of abandoning a person: as
a : failure to have contact with a spouse that is intended to create a permanent separation
b : failure to communicate with or provide financial support for one's child over a period of time that shows a purpose to forgo parental duties and rights
3 : the act of abandoning a contract
4a : the act of abandoning a course of action (as a crime)
b : the affirmative defense (as recognized under the Model Penal Code) of voluntary withdrawal from the commission of a crime resulting from the actor's change of heart and not from intervening circumstances

More from Merriam-Webster on abandonment

Nglish: Translation of abandonment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abandonment for Arabic Speakers


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