English Dictionary

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abeyance (əˈbeɪəns Pronunciation for abeyance 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'

And what about the unwritten army directive that postings should be held in abeyance in times of war mobilisation?
India Today (2002)
But war dashed that hope and, for all practical purposes, the Order fell into abeyance.
Gilbert, R A A E Waite - Magician of Many Parts
Her role was to be there forever to keep his insecurity in abeyance and stop him from falling to pieces psychologically and emotionally.
The Mercury, Sunday Tasmanian (2004)
Like the younger nurse, she was much given to smiling: like her, the smile was in temporary abeyance.
Maclean, Alistair San Andreas
The creation of that orchestra has been in abeyance pending the results of the arbitration panel.
Globe and Mail (2003)
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
With devolution discussions in abeyance for the Christmas and New Year break, Ian Paisley today lashed the UUP.
Belfast Telegraph (2004)
With the Assembly in abeyance , Westminster and the local media have an important role to play in uncovering financial wrongdoing.
Belfast Telegraph (2004)


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