One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Formally make or acknowledge a transfer of something.
- ‘If they have been stored in the customer's name, the warehouseman should be required to attorn to the bank.’
- ‘They were parties in the U.S. litigation and had attorned to U.S. jurisdiction.’
- ‘Having intervened the minister attorned to the jurisdiction of the court.’
- ‘Mrs. Varga shall attorn to this jurisdiction in relation to all issues of custody and access.’
- 1.1archaic with object Transfer (something) to someone else.
transfer, make over, give, pass, hand over, hand down, convey, consign, alienateView synonyms
- ‘Mr. Binder had attorned rents to the first mortgagee.’
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.
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