I. transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English abandounen, from Anglo-French abanduner, from (mettre) a bandun to hand over, put in someone's control
Date: 14th century
a. to give up to the control or influence of another person or agent
b. to give up with the intent of never again claiming a right or interest in <abandon property> 2. to withdraw from often in the face of danger or encroachment <abandon ship> 3. to withdraw protection, support, or help from <he abandoned his family> 4. to give (oneself) over unrestrainedly 5. a. to cease from maintaining, practicing, or using <abandoned their native language> b. to cease intending or attempting to perform <abandoned the escape> • abandoner noun • abandonment noun Synonyms: abandon, desert, forsake mean to leave without intending to return. abandon suggests that the thing or person left may be helpless without protection <abandoned children>. desert implies that the object left may be weakened but not destroyed by one's absence <a deserted town>. forsake suggests an action more likely to bring impoverishment or bereavement to that which is forsaken than its exposure to physical dangers <a forsaken lover>. Synonym: see in addition relinquish. II. noun Date: 1822 a thorough yielding to natural impulses; especially enthusiasm, exuberance <with reckless abandon>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.