English Dictionary

Pioneers in dictionary publishing since 1819

abeyance (əˈbeɪəns or abeyancy (əˈbeɪənsɪ) 



  1. usually preceded by in or into a state of being suspended or put aside temporarily
  2. (usually preceded by in) (law) an indeterminate state of ownership, as when the person entitled to an estate has not been ascertained

Derived Forms

aˈbeyant  adjective

Word Origin

C16-17: from Anglo-French, from Old French abeance expectation, literally a gaping after, a reaching towards

Example Sentences Including 'abeyance'

Like the younger nurse, she was much given to smiling: like her, the smile was in temporary abeyance.
Maclean, Alistair San Andreas
Then she sat back for she was feeling unaccountably weak though the pain still remained in abeyance.
Brent-Dyer, Elinor Challenge for the Chalet School


Log in to comment on this word.