abandon

To abandon something is to give it up completely. If you’re in a cabin and a forest fire approaches, you’d better get in your car and abandon your cabin, or else be prepared to abandon your life.

If you abandon something, you let it go, so when you describe someone as "acting with abandon," it means they have let go of restrictions or inhibitions. Maybe you like to dance with abandon in the privacy of your own room. But abandon could also mean people have abandoned their senses. To "drive with abandon," for example, means to drive recklessly.

Primary Meanings of abandon

1.
v
forsake; leave behind
2.
n
the trait of lacking restraint or control; reckless freedom from inhibition or worry
Full Definitions of abandon
1

v forsake; leave behind

“We abandoned the old car in the empty parking lot”
Types:
show 5 types...
hide 5 types...
chuck, ditch
throw away
dispense with
forgo or do or go without
forego, forfeit, forgo, give up, throw overboard, waive
lose (s.th.) or lose the right to (s.th.) by some error, offense, or crime
consign
commit forever; commit irrevocably
lapse
let slip
Type of:
cast aside, cast away, cast out, chuck out, discard, dispose, fling, put away, throw away, throw out, toss, toss away, toss out
throw or cast away

v give up with the intent of never claiming again

Abandon your life to God”
Synonyms:
give up
Types:
foreswear, quit, relinquish, renounce
turn away from; give up
disclaim
renounce a legal claim or title to

v leave behind empty; move out of

Synonyms:
empty, vacate
Type of:
go away, go forth, leave
go away from a place

v leave someone who needs or counts on you; leave in the lurch

Synonyms:
desert, desolate, forsake
Types:
show 4 types...
hide 4 types...
expose
abandon by leaving out in the open air
walk out
leave suddenly, often as an expression of disapproval
ditch
forsake
maroon, strand
leave stranded or isolated with little hope of rescue
Type of:
leave
go and leave behind, either intentionally or by neglect or forgetfulness

v stop maintaining or insisting on; of ideas or claims

“He abandoned the thought of asking for her hand in marriage”
Synonyms:
give up
ease up, give, give way, move over, yield
move in order to make room for someone for something
break, cave in, collapse, fall in, founder, give, give way
break down, literally or metaphorically
2

n the trait of lacking restraint or control; reckless freedom from inhibition or worry

“she danced with abandon
Synonyms:
unconstraint, wantonness
Type of:
unrestraint
the quality of lacking restraint

n a feeling of extreme emotional intensity

Synonyms:
wildness
Type of:
passion, passionateness
a strong feeling or emotion

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.