follow Dictionary.com

What is the X in X-mas?

abandon1

[uh-ban-duh n] /əˈbæn dən/
verb (used with object)
1.
to leave completely and finally; forsake utterly; desert:
to abandon one's farm; to abandon a child; to abandon a sinking ship.
2.
to give up; discontinue; withdraw from:
to abandon a research project; to abandon hopes for a stage career.
3.
to give up the control of:
to abandon a city to an enemy army.
4.
to yield (oneself) without restraint or moderation; give (oneself) over to natural impulses, usually without self-control:
to abandon oneself to grief.
5.
Law. to cast away, leave, or desert, as property or a child.
6.
Insurance. to relinquish (insured property) to the underwriter in case of partial loss, thus enabling the insured to claim a total loss.
7.
Obsolete. to banish.
Origin
1325-1375
1325-75; Middle English abando(u)nen < Middle French abandoner for Old French (mettre) a bandon (put) under (someone's) jurisdiction, equivalent to a at, to (< Latin ad; see ad-) + bandon < Germanic *band; see bond1
Related forms
abandonable, adjective
abandoner, noun
abandonment, noun
nonabandonment, noun
unabandoning, adjective
Synonyms
1. See desert2 . 2. Abandon, relinquish, renounce mean to give up all concern in something. Abandon means to give up or discontinue any further interest in something because of discouragement, weariness, distaste, or the like: to abandon one's efforts. Relinquish implies being or feeling compelled to give up something one would prefer to keep: to relinquish a long-cherished desire. Renounce implies making (and perhaps formally stating) a voluntary decision to give something up: to renounce worldly pleasures. 3. yield, surrender, resign, waive, abdicate.
Antonyms
1. keep. 2. continue; begin, start. 3. retain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for abandonment
  • In this slow-moving river port, signs of abandonment are everywhere.
  • Whether this presages an abandonment of the referendum, an election or a new national government remained unclear.
  • Another step on the politicization of academia and abandonment of the scientific value of skepticism in the pursuit of knowledge.
  • The result was widespread failure and an abandonment of the genre in favour of reality television.
  • Forgiveness does not imply abandonment of consequences.
  • McDonald's crime, if there was one, was her temporary abandonment of musical theater for television.
  • The abandonment event had the feel of a county fair.
  • Including victims of bigotry, poverty, abandonment and political oppression.
  • Still, adoption experts said there would seem to be a strong case for criminal or civil charges of abandonment or neglect.
  • There has been nothing to signal a transformation in the sea of blight and abandonment that still defines much of the city.
British Dictionary definitions for abandonment

abandon

/əˈbændən/
verb (transitive)
1.
to forsake completely; desert; leave behind: to abandon a baby, drivers had to abandon their cars
2.
abandon ship, the order given to the crew of a ship that is about to sink to take to the lifeboats
3.
to give up completely: to abandon a habit, to abandon hope
4.
to yield control of or concern in; relinquish: to abandon office
5.
to give up (something begun) before completion: to abandon a job, the game was abandoned
6.
to surrender (oneself) to emotion without restraint
7.
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
noun
8.
freedom from inhibitions, restraint, concern, or worry: she danced with abandon
Derived Forms
abandonment, noun
Word Origin
C14: abandounen (vb), from Old French, from a bandon under one's control, in one's power, from a at, to + bandon control, power
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for abandonment
n.

1610s, from French abandonnement, from abandonner (see abandon (v.)).

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.

n.

"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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for abandonment

in Anglo-American property law, the relinquishment of possession of property with an intent to terminate all ownership interests in that property. Abandonment may occur by throwing away the property, by losing it and making no attempt to retrieve it, by vacating the property with no intention of returning to it, or by any other act manifesting a complete disclaimer of ownership in the property. The general effect of abandonment is to give full ownership of the property to the first taker.

Learn more about abandonment with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for abandon

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for abandonment

16
21
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with abandonment

Nearby words for abandonment