- temporary inactivity, cessation, or suspension: Let's hold that problem in abeyance for a while.
- Law. a state or condition of real property in which title is not as yet vested in a known titleholder: an estate in abeyance.
Origin of abeyance
SynonymsSee more synonyms for abeyance on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for abeyance
The court will then hold the eleven felony allocutions in abeyance.Inside the ‘PayPal 14’ Trial
December 6, 2013
"The punishment lies in abeyance for the present," explained Hamish.The Channings
Mrs. Henry Wood
It would have been hard to bear had she not known what a triumph she held in abeyance.A Singer from the Sea
Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
The pomp and magnificence of sunset were in abeyance to-night, were laid aside.A Spirit in Prison
Perhaps they are sending Maria Angelina away to keep her in abeyance!The Innocent Adventuress
Mary Hastings Bradley
His will was in abeyance, and to her intense relief he got up and followed her.Audrey Craven
- (usually preceded by in or into) a state of being suspended or put aside temporarily
- (usually preceded by in) law an indeterminate state of ownership, as when the person entitled to an estate has not been ascertained
Word Origin and History for abeyance
1520s, from Anglo-French abeiance "suspension," also "expectation (especially in a lawsuit)," from Old French abeance "aspiration, desire," noun of condition of abeer "aspire after, gape" from à "at" (see ad-) + ba(y)er "be open," from Latin *batare "to yawn, gape" (see abash).
Originally in French a legal term, "condition of a person in expectation or hope of receiving property;" it turned around in English law to mean "condition of property temporarily without an owner" (1650s). Root baer is also the source of English bay (n.2) "recessed space," as in "bay window."