Definition of derelict in English:


Syllabification: der·e·lict
Pronunciation: /ˈderəˌlikt



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  • 1A person without a home, job, or property: derelicts who could fit all their possessions in a paper bag
    More example sentences
    • A group of vagabonds and derelicts inhabit a shelter in Moscow, presided over by a fanatical leader who preaches the love of everyone for everyone.
    • Following a homeless ‘state of emergency’, the federal government created a $753-million fund to get derelicts across Canada out of the dirt and into an edifice.
    • But the majority of menial workers and derelicts are, going by empirical evidence, first or second-generation immigrants with little in the way of hopes or prospects.
    tramp, vagrant, vagabond, down and out, homeless person, drifter; beggar, mendicant; outcast
    informal bag lady, hobo, bum
  • 1.1A piece of property, especially a ship, abandoned by the owner and in poor condition.
    More example sentences
    • We ran into the docking bay and could not believe the decrepit derelict of a ship that he had waiting for us.
    • If they can keep the boats from becoming derelicts, it means that much more money in the budget to do dredging and other debris removal.
    • Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard has the authority to move derelicts that pose a hazard to navigation, but not to dispose of them.


mid 17th century: from Latin derelictus 'abandoned', past participle of derelinquere, from de- 'completely' + relinquere 'forsake'.

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