abandon /əˈband(ə)n/


I. verb [with obj.]

1. cease to support or look after (someone); desert

her natural mother had abandoned her at an early age.
2. leave (a place or vehicle) empty or uninhabited, without intending to return

derelict houses were abandoned.
3. ( abandon someone/thing to) condemn someone or something to (a specified fate) by ceasing to take an interest in them

an attempt to persuade businesses not to abandon the area to inner-city deprivation.
4. give up completely (a practice or a course of action)

he had clearly abandoned all pretence of trying to succeed.
5. discontinue (a scheduled event) before completion

fans invaded the pitch and the match was abandoned.
6. ( abandon oneself to) allow oneself to indulge in (a desire or impulse)

she abandoned herself to his kiss.
II. noun [ mass noun]

1. complete lack of inhibition or restraint

she sings and sways with total abandon.
III. phrases

abandon ship
a. leave a ship because it is sinking.

a Mayday message was received before all on board abandoned ship.
b. hurriedly leave an organization or enterprise

he would rather abandon ship now than resign in shame in two years.
– origin late Middle English: from Old French abandoner, from a- (from Latin ad ‘to, at’) + bandon ‘control’ (related to ban1). The original sense was ‘bring under control’, later ‘give in to the control of, surrender to’ (sense 3 of the verb).

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