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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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Words of the day — abandon

Good morning, Netizens...

March 03, 2013

Word of the Day

  • abandon
  • audio pronunciation
  • \uh-BAN-dun\


: a thorough yielding to natural impulses; especially : enthusiasm, exuberance

We chased one another through the snow, hurling snowballs with complete abandon.

"He slid head first, dived for balls, threw runners out, stole home against the Phillies, played with the sort of reckless abandon that endeared him to fans in Washington." — From an article by Ed Graney in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, December 30, 2012


The sense of "abandon" defined above is a relative newcomer to the English language, dating from the early 1800s, but the noun itself is about 200 years older, having been first used in the 1600s in the sense of "the act of abandoning." The earlier sense was influenced by the verb "abandon," which was borrowed by Middle English in the 1300s from Anglo-French "abandoner." The Anglo-French term in turn came from the phrase "(mettre) a bandun," meaning "to hand over" or "put in someone's control." The newer sense has been more directly influenced by French "abandon," which means not only "abandonment or surrender," but also "freedom from constraint."

From Merriam-Webster Online at



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