- 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 for abandon on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for abandonment
Every adopted person has to deal with the fact of abandonment, and what that has done to them.Frances McDormand on 'Olive Kitteridge,' Dropping LSD, and Her Beef With FX's 'Fargo'
September 3, 2014
The sense of insecurity is heightened by the uncertainty and a feeling of abandonment.Jews in East Ukraine Are Being Threatened, But By Whom?
April 17, 2014
Harry and Peter are bound by the loss of their fathers and their abandonment issues.Marc Webb Takes Us Inside ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ and Discusses His Rise to the A-List
March 15, 2014
From The Novel Cure: From Abandonment to Zestlessness: 751 Books to Cure What Ails You by Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin.How to Cure Your Anxiety? Read Henry James’s ‘The Portrait of a Lady,’ Of Course.
Ella Berthoud, Susan Elderkind
September 26, 2013
Of course arch-conservatives think social breakdown is caused by the abandonment of traditional gender roles.Mississippi’s Governor Has Some Bad Ideas
June 7, 2013
Abandonment and abuse are not acts of God, they are failures of love.
Her act of abandonment was really an arrangement for settling her son permanently in life.The Secret Agent
This abandonment of the second topic threw him on the third.Little Dorrit
But it never woke him to remorse, or to abandonment of his design.Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
And how desolate was its abandonment, what a stream of silence and solitude it was!The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete
- 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 abandonment
1610s, from French abandonnement, from abandonner (see abandon (v.)).
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.