V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary



Definition: a state of temporary suspension or inactivity

Synonyms: suspension, deferment, pause, quiescence, deferral, postponement, cessation

Antonyms: continuance

Tips: Abeyance is derived from the old French abeance, "expectation," which gives the sense that nothing is happening at the moment, but eventually something will. It can also refer to a condition where legal ownership of a home or estate has not been established. You may have heard the term "at bay," meaning "put on hold." If you are familiar with this term, note how abeyance sounds like "at bay." If something is in abeyance (deferral, on hold) it is also considered "at bay."

Usage Examples:

Since the gas leak in our office building, our work has been in temporary abeyance. (suspension, pause)

That law has been in abeyance since 1900, but it is likely that it will eventually be reinstated. (cessation, suspension)

Our paychecks are being held in abeyance while the company sorts out its financial problems. (deferral, suspension)

The negotiations have been held in abeyance until after the holidays. (postponement, suspension)

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