Definition - Noun
1  : the act of abandoning property or a right: as
a  : relinquishment by an inventor of the right to enforce a patent
see also dedication
b  : an author's relinquishment to the public domain of his or her copyrighted work
c  : relinquishment of a trademark established by a failure to use the trademark and an intention never to resume use
d  : the act of an insured in surrendering all rights to damaged or lost property to an insurer as a total loss
compare salvage
e  : relinquishment by a trustee in bankruptcy of interest in property in the bankruptcy estate often for a nominal sum
2  : the act of abandoning a person: as
a  : failure to have contact with a spouse that is intended to create a permanent separation
b  : failure to communicate with or provide financial support for one's child over a period of time that shows a purpose to forgo parental duties and rights
3  : the act of abandoning a contract
4 a  : the act of abandoning a course of action (as a crime)
b  : the affirmative defense (as recognized under the Model Penal Code) of voluntary withdrawal from the commission of a crime resulting from the actor's change of heart and not from intervening circumstances

Search Legal Dictionary

Based on Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©2001.
Merriam-Webster, Incorporated
Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.