Legal Definition and Related Resources of Abandon

Meaning of Abandon

To give up, relinquish , surrender , forsake. To give up some legal right or thing with the intention of never reclaiming such right or thing, as in a tenant abandoning the demised premises . Usually the act of Relinquishment of some right or thing without reference to any particular person or purpose. Mere absence of possession is not sufficient to constitute abandonment ; the intention to relinquish must be accompanied by some overt act or failure to act which carries implication that the owner neither claims nor retains any interest .

Synonyms of Abandon

(Physically leave), verb

  • abscond
  • absent oneself
  • back out
  • be gone
  • be off
  • cast off
  • decamp
  • defect
  • depart from
  • desert
  • destituere
  • disappear
  • emigrate
  • evacuate
  • forsake
  • hominem deserere
  • leave behind
  • leave in the lurch
  • make one’s exit
  • move off
  • quit
  • remove from
  • retreat
  • run away
  • secede from
  • set off
  • slip away from
  • take leave
  • take one’s departure
  • take one’s leave
  • turn one’s back on Associated Concepts: abandoned husband
  • abandoned land
  • abandoned property
  • abandoned wife
  • desertion

(Withdraw), verb

  • ab re desistere
  • abdicate
  • back down
  • back off
  • back out
  • forsake
  • omittere
  • pull out
  • quit
  • rem relinquere
  • renege
  • retire
  • retract
  • retreat
  • stand aside
  • tender one’s resignation
  • vacate office

(Relinquish), verb

  • abjure
  • abstain
  • apostasize
  • cast aside
  • cast away
  • cast off
  • cease
  • cede
  • concede
  • demit
  • desert
  • desist
  • discard
  • discontinue
  • dispense with
  • dispose of
  • dispossess oneself of
  • disuse
  • divest oneself of
  • drop
  • forbear
  • forego
  • forsake
  • forswear
  • give away
  • give over
  • give up
  • give up claim to
  • go back on
  • jettison
  • layaside
  • part with
  • put aside
  • quit
  • render up
  • renounce
  • repudiate
  • resign
  • sacrifice
  • set aside
  • surrender
  • tergiversate
  • throw away
  • throw off
  • turn away
  • yield Associated Concepts: abandon a claim
  • abandon a crime
  • renunciate a claim
  • surrender property

Related Entries of Abandon in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Abandon in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Abandon in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Abandon in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Abandon in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Acquiescence, Constructive Total Loss, Discontinuance, Relinquish.

What does Abandon mean in American Law?

The definition of Abandon in the law of the United States, as defined by the lexicographer Arthur Leff in his legal dictionary is:

See abandonment.


This term is a verb.

Etimology of Abandon

(You may find abandon at the world legal encyclopedia and the etimology of more terms).

late 14c., “to give up (something) absolutely, relinquish control, give over utterly;” also reflexively, “surrender (oneself), yield (oneself) utterly” (to religion, fornication, etc.), from Old French abandoner “surrender, release; give freely, permit,” also reflexive, “devote (oneself)” (12c.). The Old French word was formed from the adverbial phrase à bandon “at will, at discretion,” from à “at, to” (from Latin ad; see ad-) + bandon “power, jurisdiction,” from Latin bannum, “proclamation,” which is from a Frankish or other Germanic word, from Proto-Germanic *bannan- “proclaim, summon, outlaw” (things all done by proclamation); see ban (verb). 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] Meaning “to leave, desert, forsake (someone or something) in need” is from late 15c. (Etymologically, the word carries a sense of “put (something) under someone else’s control.”) Earliest appearance of the word in English is as an adverb (mid-13c.) with the sense “under (one’s) control,” hence also “unrestricted.” Related: Abandoned; abandoning.



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