[ uh-turn ]
/ əˈtɜrn /

verb (used without object)

to acknowledge the relation of a tenant to a new landlord.

verb (used with object)

to turn over to another; transfer.

Origin of attorn

1425–75; late Middle English attournen < Anglo-French attourner, Old French atourner to turn over to. See at-, turn
Related formsat·torn·ment, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for attorn


/ (əˈtɜːn) /

verb (intr)

law to acknowledge a new owner of land as one's landlord
feudal history to transfer allegiance or do homage to a new lord
Derived Formsattornment, noun

Word Origin for attorn

C15: from Old French atourner to direct to, from tourner to turn
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 attorn



late 13c., Anglo-French, "to turn over to another," from Old French atorner "to turn, turn to, assign, attribute, dispose," from a- "to" + tourner "to turn" (see turn (v.)). In feudal law, "to transfer homage or allegiance to another lord."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper