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[uh-turn] /əˈtɜrn/ Law.
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
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English attournen < Anglo-French attourner, Old French atourner to turn over to. See at-, turn
Related forms
attornment, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for attorn


verb (intransitive)
(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 Forms
attornment, noun
Word Origin
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
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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
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