- to leave completely and finally; forsake utterly; desert: to abandon one's farm; to abandon a child; to abandon a sinking ship.
- to give up; discontinue; withdraw from: to abandon a research project; to abandon hopes for a stage career.
- to give up the control of: to abandon a city to an enemy army.
- to yield (oneself) without restraint or moderation; give (oneself) over to natural impulses, usually without self-control: to abandon oneself to grief.
- Law. to cast away, leave, or desert, as property or a child.
- Insurance. to relinquish (insured property) to the underwriter in case of partial loss, thus enabling the insured to claim a total loss.
- Obsolete. to banish.
Origin of abandon1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a complete surrender to natural impulses without restraint or moderation; freedom from inhibition or conventionality: to dance with reckless abandon.
Origin of abandon2
- carelessly; recklessly.
Origin of à l'abandon
Examples from the Web for abandon
Will he go for the schoolteacher and abandon the family, leaving behind his smashing dinner suits?What Downton’s Fashion Really Means
January 2, 2015
After the captain made the call to abandon ship, 150 people were able to escape on lifeboats lowered by electronic arms.‘We’re Going to Die’: Survivors Recount Greek Ferry Fire Horror
Barbie Latza Nadeau
December 29, 2014
No one, of course, was “repressing” Klaus or preventing him from “expressing his views,” something he does with abandon.Vaclav Klaus, Libertarian Hero, Has His Wings Clipped by Cato Institute
December 22, 2014
The show started filming in Israel over the summer, but was forced to abandon the location as political tensions escalated.After The Fall: Introducing The Anti-Villain
December 21, 2014
Two years into an Arctic expedition, they were forced to abandon ship a thousand miles north of Siberia.The Best Nonfiction Books of 2014
December 14, 2014
The men laid down their loads, and sprawled about in abandon.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
It seemed to her heart-breaking that Martin must be forced to abandon the only things for which he cared.Dust
Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
Abandon her not until you leave her in the habitations of civilized men.The Last of the Mohicans
James Fenimore Cooper
But doth not Horatio doat on me, and may he not in despair break his heart if I abandon him?Joseph Andrews Vol. 1
It was about the 24th or 25th of January, that they resolved to abandon the ship.The Field of Ice
- to forsake completely; desert; leave behindto abandon a baby; drivers had to abandon their cars
- abandon ship the order given to the crew of a ship that is about to sink to take to the lifeboats
- to give up completelyto abandon a habit; to abandon hope
- to yield control of or concern in; relinquishto abandon office
- to give up (something begun) before completionto abandon a job; the game was abandoned
- to surrender (oneself) to emotion without restraint
- to give (insured property that has suffered partial loss or damage) to the insurers in order that a claim for a total loss may be made
- freedom from inhibitions, restraint, concern, or worryshe danced with abandon
Word Origin and History for abandon
late 14c., "to give up, surrender (oneself or something), give over utterly; to yield (oneself) utterly (to religion, fornication, etc.)," from Old French abandoner (12c.), from adverbial phrase à bandon "at will, at discretion," from à "at, to" (see ad-) + bandon "power, jurisdiction," from Latin bannum, "proclamation," from a Frankish word related to ban (v.).
Mettre sa forest à bandon was a feudal law phrase in the 13th cent. = mettre sa forêt à permission, i.e. to open it freely to any one for pasture or to cut wood in; hence the later sense of giving up one's rights for a time, letting go, leaving, abandoning. [Auguste Brachet, "An Etymological Dictionary of the French Language," transl. G.W. Kitchin, Oxford, 1878]
Etymologically, the word carries a sense of "put someone under someone else's control." Meaning "to give up absolutely" is from late 14c. Related: Abandoned; abandoning.
"a letting loose, surrender to natural impulses," 1822, from a sense in French abandon (see abandon (v.). Borrowed earlier (c.1400) from French in a sense "(someone's) control;" and cf. Middle English adverbial phrase at abandon, i.e. "recklessly," attested from late 14c.