abeyance

play
noun abey·ance \ə-ˈbā-ən(t)s\

Definition of abeyance

  1. 1 :  a state of temporary inactivity :  suspension —used chiefly in the phrase in abeyance … new contracts on all but one existing mine … are in abeyance pending the outcome of a government inquiry to be carried out into Australia's role in the nuclear fuel cycle. — Vimala Sarma a plan that is currently being held in abeyance

  2. 2 :  a lapse in succession during which there is no person in whom a title is vested an estate in abeyance

abeyant

play \-ənt\ adjective

abeyance was our Word of the Day on 03/01/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of abeyance in a Sentence

  1. our weekend plans were held in abeyance until we could get a weather forecast

Did You Know?

The Latin root of abeyance suggests one in a state of wonder or shock: baer (or baier) means "to have the mouth wide open, gape, pant." The anatomical specificity of the root, however, was not maintained in the Anglo-French words that link our word to it. Abaer (or abair), which means only "to open wide," developed into abeyaunce, which refers to a very particular kind of figurative opening: "absence of a claimant or owner, lapse in succession." The English word abeyance has both technical and general applications: a property or title "in abeyance" is in temporary limbo, waiting to be claimed by a rightful heir or owner, and plans that are "in abeyance" are waiting to be acted on.

Origin and Etymology of abeyance

borrowed from Anglo-French abeyaunce “absence of a claimant or owner, lapse in succession,” from abaer, abair “to open wide” (from a-, prefix in transitive verbs—from Latin ad- ad- — + baer, baier “to have the mouth wide open, gape, pant,” from Vulgar Latin *batāre, perhaps of imitative origin) + -ance -ance


First Known Use: 1556


Medical Dictionary

abeyance

play
noun abey·ance \ə-ˈbā-ən(t)s\

Medical Definition of abeyance

  1. :  temporary inactivity or suspension (as of function or a symptom)


Law Dictionary

abeyance

play
noun abey·ance \ə-ˈbā-əns\

Legal Definition of abeyance

  1. 1 :  a lapse in the succession of property during which there is no person in whom title to the property is vested —usually used with in the estate was in abeyance

  2. 2 :  temporary inactivity or suppression :  cessation or suspension for a period of time —usually used with in or into to hold the entry of summary judgment in abeyance — J. H. Friedenthal et al.

Origin and Etymology of abeyance

Middle French abeance expectation (of a title or claimant), from abaer to expect, from a-, prefix stressing result + baer to gape, aim at





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