Definition of resign in English:

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Pronunciation: /rɪˈzʌɪn/


1 [no object] Voluntarily leave a job or office: he resigned from the government in protest at the policy
More example sentences
  • By 1909 Einstein was recognised as a leading scientific thinker and in that year he resigned from the patent office.
  • The Chancellor resigned from office and decided to leave the academy on his own.
  • So, taking drastic steps, John resigned from his job and, with his one suitcase, stayed in Southampton.
leave, go, hand in one's notice, give in one's notice, give notice, stand down, step down, bow out, walk out
informal quit, call it a day
1.1 [with object] Give up (an office, privilege, etc.): four deputies resigned their seats
More example sentences
  • I further call on her to present a public apology to the family, and then to resign her office.
  • The Deputy is resigning his seat in the light of the Government's decision to abolish the dual mandate.
  • Precisely what transpired is unknown, but he resigned all offices and spent the rest of his life in Europe, dying in Boulogne.
give up, leave, vacate, stand down from, retire from
informal quit, pack in, jack in
archaic demit
renounce, relinquish, give up, abandon, surrender, forgo, cede, abdicate, sign away;
Law  disclaim
archaic forsake
1.2 Chess End a game by conceding defeat without being checkmated: he lost his Queen and resigned in 45 moves
More example sentences
  • The game was over after 25 moves but he tried some tactics before resigning in 34 moves.
  • Your only reasonable choices are to either make the move immediately or resign.
  • He proceeded to strategically outplay his opponent in very convincing fashion, and the latter admitted after the game that he had been close to resigning after the first time scramble.
2 (resign oneself to) Accept that something undesirable cannot be avoided: she resigned herself to a lengthy session he seems resigned to a shortened career
More example sentences
  • At the moment, it is extremely difficult to find a decent house either for rent or purchase at affordable rates and many people have resigned themselves to accepting anything called shelter.
  • My husband has resigned himself to my ‘hobby’ and accepts it.
  • In the summer of 1647 and again in the autumn of 1648 a majority in the two Houses, unable to see the way forward, resigned themselves to accepting such terms as the king would accept.
reconcile oneself to, become resigned to, become reconciled to, have no choice but to accept, come to terms with, learn to live with, get used to the idea of;
give in to the inevitable, grin and bear it
patient, long-suffering, uncomplaining, forbearing, tolerant, stoical, philosophical, unprotesting, reconciled, fatalistic;
acquiescent, compliant, unresisting, non-resistant, passive, submissive, subdued, docile, phlegmatic
rare longanimous
2.1 archaic Surrender oneself to another’s guidance: he vows to resign himself to her direction
More example sentences
  • She had sufficient control over herself to accept his decision without a murmur, and to resign herself to his will.
  • The wife of a man born to be a leader need only resign herself to his guidance; whereas the wife of a fool, conscious of superior power, is bound to take the reins in her own hand if she would avert calamity.
  • She looked once or twice at her brother in a way that made his heart ache; but she seemed to have resigned herself to his direction.



Example sentences
  • Well, if we take the 121 rebels, plus the 5 or 6 resigners, we're looking at some increase on that basis alone.
  • Therein lies the problem for Aberdeen and every other member of the 10 ‘resigners’.
  • Though he was an MP for a family borough from 1853 and in Derby's cabinet in 1866, his prickliness and rigidity made him an awkward colleague and a natural resigner.


Late Middle English: from Old French resigner, from Latin resignare 'unseal, cancel', from re- 'back' + signare 'sign, seal'.

  • sign from Middle English:

    Sign comes via Old French from Latin signum ‘mark, token’. From the same source come signal (Late Middle English), significant (late 16th century), signet (Late Middle English) ‘small seal’ with which you make your mark, and mid 16th-century signature, which was first used as a Scots legal term for a document presented by a writer for royal approval and seal. Resign (Late Middle English) is from Latin resignare ‘unseal, cancel’ See also seal

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: re¦sign

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