Definition of relinquish in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɪˈlɪŋkwɪʃ/


[with object]
Voluntarily cease to keep or claim; give up: he relinquished his managerial role to become chief executive
More example sentences
  • There is no evidence of her ever wishing to voluntarily relinquish the post.
  • However, he signed a contract relinquishing his claim to his benefits in April 1994, just one month earlier.
  • Their lawyer told the court that, since they had relinquished any claim to the child, there was no purpose in continuing the application.
renounce, give up, part with, give away;
hand over, turn over, lay down, let go of, waive, resign, abdicate, yield, cede, surrender, sign away
leave, resign from, stand down from, bow out of, walk out of, retire from, give up, depart from, vacate, pull out of, abandon, abdicate
informal quit, chuck, jack in
archaic forsake
discontinue, stop, cease, give up, drop, desist from;
avoid, steer clear of, give a wide berth to;
reject, eschew, forswear, refrain from, abstain from, forbear from, forgo
informal quit, leave off, kick
archaic forsake



Pronunciation: /rɪˈlɪŋkwɪʃm(ə)nt/
Example sentences
  • Caretakers report behavior problems as the primary reason in 40% of dog relinquishments and 28% of cat relinquishments.
  • Acquiring knowledge about animal behavior, as well as general animal health care, prior to acquiring a pet could prevent relinquishments of this type.
  • The family must gradually relinquish control while maintaining ‘a veto against excess and danger,’ in which the relinquishment is at least as difficult for the parent as the veto may feel to the child.


Late Middle English: from Old French relinquiss-, lengthened stem of relinquir, from Latin relinquere, from re- (expressing intensive force) + linquere 'to leave'.

  • derelict from mid 17th century:

    This is from Latin derelictus, the past participle of derelinquere ‘abandon’, from de- ‘completely’ and relinquere ‘forsake’, found also in relinquish (Late Middle English).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re¦lin|quish

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