General English

  • verb to leave someone or something in an unkind way
  • verb to leave somewhere for ever
  • verb to give up or stop doing something

General Science

  • verb to clear a document, file or work from the computer’s memory without saving it to disk or tape


  • verb to leave someone or something without help


  • verb to leave a vehicle or ship (usually for reasons of safety)

Origin & History of “abandon”

The Old French verb abandoner is the source of abandon. It was based on a bandon, meaning literally ‘under control or jurisdiction’, which was used in the phrase mettre a bandon ‘put someone under someone else’s control’ – hence ‘abandon them’. The word bandon came, in altered form, from Latin bannum ‘proclamation’, which is circuitously related to English banns ‘proclamation of marriage’ and is an ancestor of contraband.