The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Abandon \A*ban"don\ ([.a]*b[a^]n"d[u^]n), v. t. [imp. & p. p.
Abandoned (-d[u^]nd); p. pr. & vb. n. Abandoning.] [OF.
abandoner, F. abandonner; a (L. ad) + bandon permission,
authority, LL. bandum, bannum, public proclamation,
interdiction, bannire to proclaim, summon: of Germanic
origin; cf. Goth. bandwjan to show by signs, to designate
OHG. ban proclamation. The word meant to proclaim, put under
a ban, put under control; hence, as in OE., to compel,
subject, or to leave in the control of another, and hence, to
give up. See Ban.]
1. To cast or drive out; to banish; to expel; to reject.
That he might . . . abandon them from him. --Udall.
Being all this time abandoned from your bed. --Shak.
2. To give up absolutely; to forsake entirely; to renounce
utterly; to relinquish all connection with or concern on;
to desert, as a person to whom one owes allegiance or
fidelity; to quit; to surrender.
Hope was overthrown, yet could not be abandoned.
3. Reflexively: To give (one's self) up without attempt at
self-control; to yield (one's self) unrestrainedly; --
often in a bad sense.
He abandoned himself . . . to his favorite vice.
4. (Mar. Law) To relinquish all claim to; -- used when an
insured person gives up to underwriters all claim to the
property covered by a policy, which may remain after loss
or damage by a peril insured against.
Syn: To give up; yield; forego; cede; surrender; resign;
abdicate; quit; relinquish; renounce; desert; forsake;
leave; retire; withdraw from.
Usage: To Abandon, Desert, Forsake. These words agree
in representing a person as giving up or leaving some
object, but differ as to the mode of doing it. The
distinctive sense of abandon is that of giving up a
thing absolutely and finally; as, to abandon one's
friends, places, opinions, good or evil habits, a
hopeless enterprise, a shipwrecked vessel. Abandon is
more widely applicable than forsake or desert. The
Latin original of desert appears to have been
originally applied to the case of deserters from
military service. Hence, the verb, when used of
persons in the active voice, has usually or always a
bad sense, implying some breach of fidelity, honor,
etc., the leaving of something which the person should
rightfully stand by and support; as, to desert one's
colors, to desert one's post, to desert one's
principles or duty. When used in the passive, the
sense is not necessarily bad; as, the fields were
deserted, a deserted village, deserted halls. Forsake
implies the breaking off of previous habit,
association, personal connection, or that the thing
left had been familiar or frequented; as, to forsake
old friends, to forsake the paths of rectitude, the
blood forsook his cheeks. It may be used either in a
good or in a bad sense.