American English Dictionary

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abandon (əˈbændən )


transitive verb

  1. to give up (something) completely or forever   ⇒ to abandon all hope
  2. to leave, as in danger or out of necessity; forsake; desert
  3. to yield (oneself) completely, as to a feeling, desire, etc.


  1. unrestrained freedom of action or emotion; surrender to one's impulses   ⇒ to shout in wild abandon
abandon implies leaving a person or thing, either as a final, necessary measure [to abandon a drought area ] or as a complete rejection of one's responsibilities, claims, etc. [she abandoned her child ]; desert1 emphasizes leaving in willful violation, as of one's obligation or oath [the soldier deserted his post ]; forsake stresses renouncing a person or thing formerly dear to one [to forsake one's friends or ideals ]; quit, basically implying to leave or give up, is now commonly used to mean stop [she quit her job ]

Derived Forms

aˈbandonment noun

Word Origin

ME abandonen < OFr abandoner < mettre a bandon, to put under (someone else's) ban, relinquish: see ban1


View thesaurus entry
= wildness, recklessness

Translations for 'abandon'

  • American English: abandon If you abandon a place, thing, or person, you leave the place, thing, or person permanently or for a long time, especially when you should not do so.He claimed that his parents had abandoned him. abandons, abandoning, abandoned
  • Arabic: يَهْجُرُ
  • Brazilian Portuguese: abandonar
  • Chinese: 放弃
  • Croatian: napustiti
  • Czech: zanechat zanechávat
  • Danish: opgive
  • Dutch: in de steek laten
  • European Spanish: abandonar
  • Finnish: hylätä
  • French: abandonner
  • German: verlassen
  • Greek: εγκαταλείπω
  • Italian: abbandonare
  • Japanese: 見捨てる
  • Korean: 포기하다
  • Norwegian: forlate
  • Polish: porzucić porzucać
  • Portuguese: abandonar
  • Romanian: a abandona
  • Russian: оставлять
  • Spanish: abandonar
  • Swedish: överge
  • Thai: ละทิ้ง
  • Turkish: terk etmek
  • Ukrainian: залишати залишити
  • Vietnamese: từ bỏ
  • American English: abandon If you say that someone does something with abandon, you mean that they behave in a wild, uncontrolled way and do not think or care about how they should behave.He approached life with reckless abandon–I don't think he himself knew what he was going to do next.with abandon
  • Brazilian Portuguese: despreocupação
  • Chinese: 放纵放纵縱
  • European Spanish: abandono
  • French: abandon
  • German: Ungezwungenheit
  • Italian: abbandono
  • Japanese: 気まま
  • Korean: 방종
  • Portuguese: despreocupação
  • Spanish: abandono

Example Sentences Including 'abandon'

Tell them we're going to check the rest of the ship for the crew, and then we'll abandon ship.
James W. Huston BALANCE OF POWER (1998)


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