American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


ABEY'ANCE, noun pronoun abáyance. [Norm. abbaiaunce, or abaizance, in expectation; boyance, expectation. Qu. Fr. bayer, to gape, to look a long time with the mouth open; to stand looking in a silly manner. [See Bay]

In expectation or contemplation of law. The fee simple or inheritance of lands and tenements is in abeyance when there is no person in being in whom it can vest; so that it is in a state of expectancy or waiting until a proper person shall appear. Thus if land is leased to a man for life, remainder to another for years, the remainder for years is in abeyance till the death of the lessee, for life.