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

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 Spirit, which specializes in a la carte service on flights catering to leisure travelers, is not planning to abandon service to DFW, spokesman Erik Hofmeyer said. Dallas News, "Ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines issues furlough notices for 238 at DFW Airport," 31 July 2020 Serra has been the target of protests in recent years because of the oppression that activist say was caused by converting Native Americans to Catholicism -- forcing them to abandon their culture or face harsh repercussions. Fox News, "249-year-old California church damaged by fire, investigation underway," 12 July 2020 In the days since Anderson’s school board voted, 4-1, to abandon the moniker, news reports from around the country point to other schools considering dropping Native American mascots. New York Times, "In Campaign Against Racism, Team Names Get New Scrutiny," 10 July 2020 Loeffler wrote to commissioner Cathy Engelbert and asked her to abandon plans to put the names Breonna Taylor and Sandra Bland on uniforms, and instead feature the American flag. Fortune, "Magic Leap’s Peggy Johnson long aspired to be a CEO. Too few women set that intention," 8 July 2020 By 1888, corruption had become so widespread that states began to abandon the spectacle. Sue Halpern, The New Yorker, "Can Our Ballots Be Both Secret and Secure?," 7 July 2020 In Oregon, researchers found that mule-deer collisions peaked at around 8,000 cars per day; beyond that threshold, the ungulates appeared to abandon their migration routes entirely rather than attempt to cross. Ben Goldfarb, The Atlantic, "The Pandemic-Driven Rise in Animals Crossing," 6 July 2020 But Sullivan pushed back hard in court documents Monday, raising serious questions about the legitimacy of the government effort to abandon Flynn's case. Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, "Michael Flynn judge defends decision to challenge DOJ request to drop case," 1 June 2020 That court order factored heavily into Dominion and Duke’s decision to abandon the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the companies’ press release said. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: A bad 24 hours for pipeline developers," 6 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun What most people don’t realise is that the apparently spontaneous abandon of those extravagant nights is, in fact, painstakingly planned. 1843, "The secret economics of a VIP party," 25 June 2020 What most people don’t realise is that the apparently spontaneous abandon of those extravagant nights is, in fact, painstakingly planned. 1843, "The secret economics of a VIP party," 25 June 2020 Research suggests that the bat immune system deals with marauding viral invaders in two key ways: First, the bats mount a speedy but nuanced offensive that stops the virus from multiplying with abandon. Rachel Ehrenberg, Ars Technica, "The bat-virus détente," 3 July 2020 Far too often Border Patrol acts with reckless abandon and now yet another high-speed chase ended in tragedy. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "Witnesses contradict Border Patrol’s claim that they weren’t chasing car when 7 died in crash," 2 July 2020 What most people don’t realise is that the apparently spontaneous abandon of those extravagant nights is, in fact, painstakingly planned. 1843, "The secret economics of a VIP party," 25 June 2020 What most people don’t realise is that the apparently spontaneous abandon of those extravagant nights is, in fact, painstakingly planned. Ashley Mears, The Economist, "Stories of an extraordinary world The secret economics of a VIP party," 26 June 2020 Many people have enjoyed having fewer Uber and Lyft cars double-parking with abandon and clogging our streets. Heather Knight, SFChronicle.com, "SF residents share the unexpected delights and discoveries of shelter in place," 23 June 2020 While the plastic material may be lacking in style, the surface is easy to clean—so go ahead, spin with wild abandon. Popular Science, "Pantry turntables for storing and spinning your favorite ingredients," 23 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for abandon

Time Traveler

The first known use of abandon was in the 14th century

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Statistics for abandon

Last Updated

5 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Abandon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abandon. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for abandon

abandon

verb
How to pronounce abandon (audio)

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.

Choose the Right Synonym for abandon

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.

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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