Abandoning



to leave completely and finally; forsake utterly; desert:
to abandon one’s farm; to abandon a child; to abandon a sinking ship.
to give up; discontinue; withdraw from:
to abandon a research project; to abandon hopes for a stage career.
to give up the control of:
to abandon a city to an enemy army.
to yield (oneself) without restraint or moderation; give (oneself) over to natural impulses, usually without self-control:
to abandon oneself to grief.
Law. to cast away, leave, or desert, as property or a child.
Insurance. to relinquish (insured property) to the underwriter in case of partial loss, thus enabling the insured to claim a total loss.
Obsolete. to banish.
Contemporary Examples

He grew emotional as he dramatically took a folded letter out of his pocket and, abandoning his teleprompter, read it slowly.
My 2012 Obama Nightmare Michael Medved July 7, 2011

Schettino faces up to 15 years in prison if he is convicted of manslaughter and abandoning ship.
What Went Wrong on the Costa Concordia Barbie Latza Nadeau January 15, 2012

He faces pending charges for multiple counts of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, and abandoning ship.
Francesco Schettino, the Costa Concordia’s Daredevil Captain Barbie Latza Nadeau January 17, 2012

He now seems to be abandoning that dream because of a lack of financial support from the Muslim community.
Why the Ground Zero Mosque Is Worth Saving Michael Daly April 10, 2014

But having your sound influenced by a genre and abandoning your sound completely are two different things.
Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ Is Disappointing Kevin Fallon August 18, 2014

Historical Examples

He had been bothered by no fine qualms about abandoning herself.
Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius

So she made no objection to his abandoning his desk in the house of Dunbar, Dunbar, and Balderby.
Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon

She loved a man—to her the noblest, most god-like creature of his kind,—and she was happy in abandoning herself to him.
The Last Spike Cy Warman

They had no thought of abandoning any of their pursuits or pleasures, be they never so deplorable.
The Law-Breakers Ridgwell Cullum

Lefin chose to remedy that by abandoning entirely the tradition, and by writing exactly as the people spoke.
The History of Yiddish Literature in the Nineteenth Century Leo Wiener

verb (transitive)
to forsake completely; desert; leave behind: to abandon a baby, drivers had to abandon their cars
abandon ship, the order given to the crew of a ship that is about to sink to take to the lifeboats
to give up completely: to abandon a habit, to abandon hope
to yield control of or concern in; relinquish: to abandon office
to give up (something begun) before completion: to abandon a job, the game was abandoned
to surrender (oneself) to emotion without restraint
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
freedom from inhibitions, restraint, concern, or worry: she danced with 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.

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