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: a giving up of property to public use that precludes the owner from asserting any further interest in it: as
a : an intentional donation of land for public use that is accepted by the proper public authorities
b : intentional or negligent surrender to the public of intellectual property that could have been protected by copyright or patent
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.