Share this entry

dereliction Line breaks: dere|lic¦tion
Pronunciation: /dɛrəˈlɪkʃ(ə)n/

Definition of dereliction in English:


[mass noun]
1The state of having been abandoned and become dilapidated: a 15th-century farmhouse has been saved from dereliction
More example sentences
  • The business park will help regenerate this area disadvantaged by years of industrial decay and dereliction.
  • At first he was turned down - the Commission said no-one would want to come to such a scene of industrial dereliction.
  • There would have been no poll tax, race riots, rail privatisation and less industrial dereliction.
dilapidation, disrepair, decrepitude, deterioration, ruin, rack and ruin;
abandonment, neglect, disuse, desertion, rejection, forsaking
2 (dereliction of duty) The shameful failure to fulfil one’s obligations: the prosecution team were guilty of dereliction of duty for failing to disclose evidence [count noun]: a gross dereliction of duty by the Secretary of State
More example sentences
  • Investigators concluded that 18 soldiers committed war crimes ranging from murder and assault to dereliction of duty.
  • And the charges he faces right now include assault, maltreatment, indecent acts, dereliction of duty, and conspiracy.
  • Ministers resigned even if caught in an unbecoming controversy suggesting dereliction of duty, attracting public accountability even if without fault.


Late 16th century: from Latin derelictio(n-), from the verb derelinquere (see derelict).

Words that rhyme with dereliction

addiction, affliction, benediction, constriction, conviction, crucifixion, depiction, diction, eviction, fiction, friction, infliction, interdiction, jurisdiction, malediction, restriction, transfixion, valediction

Definition of dereliction in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day luxe
Pronunciation: ləks
expensive and of high quality; luxurious