Law Dictionary


noun aban·don·ment

Legal Definition of abandonment

  1. 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 2b e :  relinquishment by a trustee in bankruptcy of interest in property in the bankruptcy estate often for a nominal sum

  2. 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. 3 :  the act of abandoning a contract

  4. 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

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up abandonment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a trip made at another's expense

Get Word of the Day daily email!