Definition of attorn in English:



[no object]Law
  • 1Formally make or acknowledge a transfer of something.

    • ‘They were parties in the U.S. litigation and had attorned to U.S. jurisdiction.’
    • ‘Mrs. Varga shall attorn to this jurisdiction in relation to all issues of custody and access.’
    • ‘If they have been stored in the customer's name, the warehouseman should be required to attorn to the bank.’
    • ‘Having intervened the minister attorned to the jurisdiction of the court.’
    1. 1.1archaic with object Transfer (something) to someone else.
      ‘a lord might attorn his vassals service to some other’
      • ‘Mr. Binder had attorned rents to the first mortgagee.’
      transfer, make over, give, pass, hand over, hand down, convey, consign, alienate
      View synonyms


  • attorn tenant

    • Formally make or acknowledge a transfer of tenancy.

      • ‘An attornment clause in a mortgage whereby the mortgagor attorns tenant at will to the mortgagee is not a true contract.’


Middle English (in the senses ‘turn, change, transform’): from Old French atorner ‘appoint, assign’, from a- (from Latin ad ‘to, at’) + torner ‘to turn’. The spelling with o rather than u or ou, as might have been expected in English, is due to the late Anglo-Norman French form attorner, adopted in legal use.