Definition of attorn in English:


intransitive verb

[no object]
  • 1Law
    Formally 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.’
    • ‘Having intervened the minister attorned to the jurisdiction of the court.’
    • ‘If they have been stored in the customer's name, the warehouseman should be required to attorn to the bank.’
    1. 1.1 archaic 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





    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.