Definition of abandon in English:

abandon

Syllabification: a·ban·don
Pronunciation: /əˈbandən
 
/

verb

[with object]
  • 1Give up completely (a course of action, a practice, or a way of thinking): he had clearly abandoned all pretense of trying to succeed
    More example sentences
    • Church of England bishops were formerly also bewigged, but abandoned the practice around 1840.
    • He abandoned his course of study at 21 when he was commissioned to write a history of Australian painting.
    • However, the company doesn't want to abandon the practice, and hopes new technology will improve the return on investment.
    Synonyms
    renounce, relinquish, dispense with, disclaim, forgo, disown, disavow, discard, wash one's hands of; give up, withdraw, drop, jettison, do away with
    informal ax, ditch, dump, scrap, scrub, junk, deep-six
    formal forswear, abjure
    give up, stop, cease, drop, forgo, desist from, dispense with, have done with, abstain from, discontinue, break off, refrain from, set aside
    informal cut out, kick, pack in, quit
  • 1.1Discontinue (a scheduled event) before completion: against the background of perceived threats, the tour was abandoned
    More example sentences
    • Last year's event was abandoned after just two days when heavy rain and traffic chaos conspired to make it a wash-out.
    • They had been forced to abandon the event ‘due to circumstances beyond our control’.
    • The men's event was abandoned while he was enjoying a comfortable lead.
  • 2Cease to support or look after (someone); desert: her natural mother had abandoned her at an early age
    More example sentences
    • He was accusing ME of trying to desert him, abandoning him.
    • Several actors who had supported his candidacy abandoned him.
    • For all I knew, he abandoned you in the desert and had come back, with you having no idea where he was going.
    Synonyms
    desert, leave, leave high and dry, turn one's back on, cast aside, break (up) with; jilt, strand, leave stranded, leave in the lurch, throw over
    informal walk out on, run out on, dump, ditch
    literary forsake
  • 2.1Leave (a place or vehicle) empty or uninhabited, without intending to return: derelict houses were abandoned
    More example sentences
    • The place was empty, the freshmen abandoned their rooms for the promise of ice cream.
    • After months of madness in the house, they decided to abandon the place and move back to Philadelphia.
    • And surely, I should feel equally sorry for myself - and for all those others like me who have abandoned such places.
  • 2.2 (abandon someone/something to) Condemn someone or something to (a specified fate) by ceasing to take an interest in or look after them: it was an attempt to persuade businesses not to abandon the area to inner-city deprivation
    More example sentences
    • Angry survivors told how the captain fled his ship by lifeboat and abandoned passengers to their fate.
    • But, unfortunately, some parents seem to be oblivious to this perception and abandon such children to their fate.
    • Under cover of darkness, a group of 30 men slipped away, abandoning their comrades to their fate.
    Synonyms
    relinquish, surrender, give up, cede, yield, leave
  • 3 (abandon oneself to) Allow oneself to indulge in (a desire or impulse): abandoning herself to moony fantasies
    More example sentences
    • When you abandon yourself to pleasure and desire keep an eye on inner and outer balance, as you tend to overindulge.
    • Every year the city abandons itself to the heady allure of the world's largest arts festival.
    • There are moments in the column when he understands what a hopeless task he has taken on and abandons himself to the full intoxication of giddy absurdity.
    Synonyms
    indulge in, give way to, give oneself up to, yield to, lose oneself to/in

noun

Back to top  

Phrases

abandon ship

Leave a ship because it is sinking.
More example sentences
  • The resultant fire forced the ship's company to abandon ship.
  • The men had no radio, lifejackets or lifebelts, and had been unable to abandon ship or attract attention to their plight.
  • Submarines were supposed to surface and give crews time to abandon ship before sinking their vessels.
Hurriedly leave an organization or enterprise: he would rather abandon ship now than resign in shame in two years
More example sentences
  • Media bosses, by contrast, seem not to be able to abandon ship quickly enough.
  • Many Britons are choosing to abandon ship in search of sunnier climates.
  • Our captains of democracy abandoned ship a long time ago.

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French abandoner, from a- (from Latin ad 'to, at') + bandon 'control', based on late Latin bannus, bannum (see ban1). The original sense was 'bring under control', later 'give in to the control of, surrender to' (sense 3).

More definitions of abandon

Definition of abandon in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
noun
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody