Word of the Day : December 5, 2022
What It Means
- To abdicate is to renounce or relinquish a position of usually sovereign power. It can also mean “to cast off; discard.”
- // The king was forced to abdicate after long-standing controversy.
- // She abdicated her position in response to the allegations.
- // There can be serious repercussions when someone abdicates their responsibilities.
- See the entry >
ABDICATE In Context
“American literature is peopled with runaways—those brave, brazen, or simply compromised enough to abdicate their responsibilities and take to the road.” — The New Yorker, 4 July 2022
Did you Know?
Give it up for abdicate, a word powerful enough to undo a coronation. If you need a term to describe formally throwing in the towel, this one should prove—perhaps ironically—a royal success. Coming from the prefix ab- (meaning “from,” “away,” or “off”) and the Latin verb dīcere (meaning “to speak”), abdicate is used primarily for those who give up sovereign power or who evade a very serious responsibility. English has dīcere to thank for a hodgepodge of other words, among them dictate, contradict, prediction, and the crown jewel of them all: dictionary.