Definition of abdicate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈabdɪkeɪt/


1 [no object] (Of a monarch) renounce one’s throne: in 1918 Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated as German emperor [with object]: Ferdinand abdicated the throne in favour of the emperor’s brother
More example sentences
  • Which king abdicated from the British throne in 1936?
  • Following this the proud king abdicated his throne to his son Anandapala and committed suicide by climbing onto his own funeral pyre.
  • If the Tsar had abdicated, what would happen to us?
resign, retire, quit, stand down, step down, bow out, renounce the throne
archaic demit
resign from, relinquish, renounce, give up, hand over, turn over, deliver up, surrender, vacate, forswear, abjure, cede;
Law  disclaim
2 [with object] Fail to fulfil or undertake (a responsibility or duty): the government was accused of abdicating its responsibility
More example sentences
  • It is Council responsibility to do recycling and we're abdicating our responsibility.
  • Governments around the world are abdicating their responsibilities to protect the natural resources in their territory, giving authority away to the private companies involved in resource exploitation.
  • What is startling about this statement is the degree to which this mayor is simply abdicating responsibility for governing the city.
disown, turn down, spurn, reject, renounce, give up, avoid, refuse, abnegate, relinquish, abjure, repudiate, waive, yield, forgo, abandon, surrender, deliver up, disgorge, cast aside, drop, turn one's back on, wash one's hands of
informal shirk
archaic forsake





Mid 16th century: from Latin abdicat- 'renounced', from the verb abdicare, from ab- 'away, from' + dicare 'declare'.

  • This is from Latin abdicare ‘to renounce’ from ab- ‘away, from’ and dicare ‘declare’. Examples of the sense ‘give up sovereignty’ date from the early 18th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ab¦di|cate

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