Synonyms with Interactive Examples

(a comparison of synonymous references and their relationships to each other)

abandon, plus synonyms
Abandon and related synonyms: abdicate, abjure, cast off, cease, cede, depart from, desert, discontinue, forgo, forsake, forswear, give up, leave, quit, recant, relinquish, renounce, repudiate, resign, retire from, retract, surrender, vacate, withdraw from.

Abandon is a word of wide significance, applying to people or things of all kinds and a variety of situations.

While related words abdicate and resign apply to an office, authority, or power; cede to territorial possessions; surrender, especially to a military force, and more generally to any demand, claim, passion, etc.

Quit carries an idea of suddenness or abruptness not necessarily implied in abandon, and it may not have the same suggestion of finality. The king abdicates his throne, cedes his territory, deserts his followers, renounces his religion, relinquishes his titles, abandons his designs.

A cowardly officer deserts his ship; the helpless passengers abandon it. We quit business, give up property, resign office, abandon a habit or a trust.

Relinquish commonly implies reluctance; the fainting hand relinquishes its grasp; the creditor relinquishes his claim.

Abandon implies previous association with responsibility for or control of; forsake implies previous association with an inclination or attachment, real or assumed; a man may abandon or forsake a house or friends; he abandons an enterprise; and he forsakes God.

Abandon is applied to both good and evil actions; a thief abandons his designs, a man his principles. Forsake, like abandon, may be used either in the favorable or unfavorable sense; desert is always unfavorable, involving a breach of duty, except when referring to localities; such as, "The Deserted Village".

While a monarch abdicates, a president or other elected or appointed officer resigns. It was held that James II abdicated his throne by deserting it.

—Compilations are based on information from the following sources:

English Synonyms and Antonyms by James Champlin Fernald;
19th Edition; Funk & Wagnalls Company; New York; 1896.

Funk & Wagnalls Standard Handbook of Synonyms, Antonyms, and Prepositions;
by James C. Fernald; Funk & Wagnalls Publishing Company, Inc.;
New York; 1947.