2. A condition in which legal ownership of an estate has not been established: The uncertain abeyance of her father’s property caused a great deal of anxiety for Dorothy; so, the decision of the judge is expected to be important.
3. Etymology: in its beginning, abeyance meant "waiting with gaping (open) mouth". Something "held in abeyance" may cause some anxiety or impatience, but it hardly suggests "open-mouthed expectancy"; nevertheless, that was originally the literal meaning for the word.
Abeyance came from the Late Latin badare, "to gape". The word passed into the Old French spelling baer, beer, "to gape, to look with open mouth, to expect". From this was derived the old French abeance, literally, "a gaping at", but used metaphorically to express "expectation" or "longing".
This has resulted in the English abeyance, a legal term used about rights which were suspended, "held in abeyance", awaiting a proper claimant. Its meaning, however, has broadened in general use to indicate any kind of suspension or temporary suppression."