1610s, "action of relinquishing to another," from French abandonnement (Old French abandonement), from abandonner "to give up" (see abandon (v.)). Meaning "a deserting, forsaking" (of one's family, principles, etc.) is by 1788; from 1839 as "condition of being forsaken." In law, the relinquishing of a title, privilege, or claim. In music, Italian abbandonatamente is the instruction to play so as to make the time subordinate to the feeling.