A Dictionary of the English Language
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Abandon

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 53, 54

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 53, 54

To Aba'ndon. v.a. [Fr. abandonner. Derived, according to Menage, from the Italian abandonare, which signifies to forsake his colours; bandum [vexillum] deserere. Pasquier thinks it a coalition of a ban donner, to give up to a proscription; in which sense we, at this day, mention the ban of the empire. Ban, in our own old dialect, signifies a curse; and to abandon, if considered as compounded between French and Saxon, is exactly equivalent to diris devovere.]

  1. To give up, resign, or quit; often followed by the particle to.

    The passive gods behold the Greeks defile
    Their temples, and abandon to the spoil
    Their own abodes; we, feeble few, conspire
    To save a sinking town, involv'd in fire.
    Dryd. Aeneid.

  2. To desert.

    The princes using the passions of fearing evil, and desiring to escape, only to serve the rule of virtue, not to abandon one's self, leapt to a rib of the ship. Sidney, b. ii

    Then being alone,
    Left and abandon'd of his velvet friends,
    'Tis right, quoth he; thus misery doth part
    The flux of company.
    Shakesp. As you like it.

    What fate a wretched fugitive attends,
    Scorn'd by my foes, abandon'd by my friends.
    Dryd. Aen. 2.

  3. To forsake, generally with a tendency to an ill sense.

    When he in presence came, to Guyon first
    He boldly spake; Sir knight, if knight thou be,
    Abandon this forestalled place at erst,
    For fear of further harm, I counsel thee.
    Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. ii. cant. 4. stanz. 39.

    But to the parting goddess thus she pray'd;
    Propitious still be present to my aid,
    Nor quite abandon your once favour'd maid.
    Dryd. Fab.

Sources: Shakespeare's As You Like It (40) · Dryden, John (788) · Menage, Gilles (5) · Pasquier, Etienne (1) · Sidney, Philip (140) · Spenser, Edmund (254)

Attributes: French (385) · Italian (29) · Latin (690) · Saxon (215) · Verb Active (289)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Abandon." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: November 22, 2013. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=83.


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