abeyance

[ uh-bey-uhns ]
/ əˈbeɪ əns /

noun

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

1520–30; < Anglo-French; Old French abeance aspiration, literally, a gaping at or toward. See a-5, bay2, -ance
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for abeyance

British Dictionary definitions for abeyance

abeyance

/ (əˈbeɪəns) /

noun

(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
Derived Formsabeyant, adjective

Word Origin for abeyance

C16-17: from Anglo-French, from Old French abeance expectation, literally a gaping after, a reaching towards
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for abeyance

abeyance


n.

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper