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The Meaning of Abide

25/9/17 The Meaning of Abide

The Meaning of Abide

“Abide” is a term that can be confusing for legal English learners.
Today we’ll explain what it means and how it is used.
Abide may mean several different things:

  1. to stay (the right of entering and abiding in any state in the Union)
  2. to tolerate, withstand (we won’t abide that type of behavior)
  3. to obey [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][construed with by] (abide by the law)
  4. to await (our decision must abide the outcome of the general election), or
  5. to perform or execute [in reference to orders or judgments] (as a trial judge, I must abide the judgment of the circuit court)

The last is the strictly legal meaning.
Abide by is a phrasal verb meaning “to acquiesce in or conform to.” In this sense, you should not omit the preposition by. Omitting the by is awkward at best, unidiomatic at worst.
Example: A defendant must abide by the rules of evidence and procedure.

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