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From Middle English abiden, from Old English ābīdan (wait),[1] from ā + bīdan (to bide, remain)[2][3] + ance.


  • (US) IPA(key): /əˈbaɪd.n̩s/, /əˈbaɪd.n̩ts/


abidance (plural abidances)

  1. The act of abiding or continuing; abode; stay; continuance; dwelling. [Early 17th century.][5]
  2. Adherence; compliance; conformity. [Early 19th century.][5]
    • 1840, Thomas Fuller, The history of the holy war[1], page 262:
      No wonder then, though the Christians had no longer abidance in the holy hill of Palestine (though this I confess, is but the bark of the text), driving that trade wherewith none ever thrived, the breaking of promises; wherewith one may for a way fairly spread his train, but he will moult his feathers soon after.
    • 1862, Sir Arthur Helps, Organization in daily life: an essay[2], page 78:
      A judicious abidance by rules, and holding to the results of experience, are good; but not less so, are a judicious setting aside of rules, and a declining to be bound by incomplete experience.



  1. ^ “abidance”, in Christine A. Lindberg, editor, The Oxford College Dictionary, 2nd edition, New York, N.Y.: Spark Publishing, 2002, →ISBN, page 2.
  2. ^ “abidance”, in William Morris, editor, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, New York, N.Y.: American Heritage Publishing Co., 1969 (1971 printing), OCLC 299754516, page 3.
  3. ^ Philip Babcock Gove (editor), Webster's Third International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged (G. & C. Merriam Co., 1976 [1909], →ISBN), page 3
  4. ^ Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 [1998], →ISBN), page 3
  5. 5.0 5.1 “abidance”, in Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2002, →ISBN, page 4.