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.

1520–30; < Anglo-French; Old French abeance aspiration, literally, a gaping at or toward. See a-5, bay2, -ance

1. remission, deferral.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To abeyance
World English Dictionary
abeyance (əˈbeɪəns)
n (usually preceded by in or into)
1.  a state of being suspended or put aside temporarily
2.  (usually preceded by in) law an indeterminate state of ownership, as when the person entitled to an estate has not been ascertained
[C16-17: from Anglo-French, from Old French abeance expectation, literally a gaping after, a reaching towards]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1520s, from Anglo-Fr. abeiance "suspension," also "expectation (especially in a lawsuit)," from O.Fr. abeance "aspiration, desire," noun of condition of abeer "aspire after, gape" from à "at" + ba(y)er "be open," from L. *batare "to yawn, gape" (see abash). Originally
in O.Fr. a legal term, "condition of a person in expectation or hope of receiving property;" it turned around in Eng. law to mean "condition of property temporarily without an owner" (1650s). Root baer is also the source of English bay (2) "recessed space," as in "bay window."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Since then, his famous temper has been in abeyance.
Once war broke out, the system went into abeyance.
Even the laws of fraud seem to be in abeyance.
This proceeding was held in abeyance pending outcome of the antitrust suit.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature