An abeyance is a temporary halt to something, with the emphasis on "temporary." It is usually used with the word "in" or "into"; "in abeyance" suggests a state of waiting or holding.

The word abeyance has a legal ring to it, and for a good reason — appearing in English in the 16th century, it comes from the Anglo-French word abeiance, a legal term for waiting or hoping to receive property. Nowadays, the word is used in a similar way. Different legal rights, like property rights, can be held in abeyance until matters are resolved.

Definitions of abeyance

n temporary cessation or suspension

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cold storage
in a state of abeyance or postponement
deferral, recess
a state of abeyance or suspended business
suspension of an ongoing activity
stand-down, standdown
a suspension and relaxation from an alert state or a state of readiness
Type of:
inaction, inactiveness, inactivity
the state of being inactive

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