Simple Definition of abdicate
: to leave the position of being a king or queen
: to fail to do what is required by (a duty or responsibility)
Full Definition of abdicate
1 : to cast off : discard
2 : to relinquish (as sovereign power) formally
: to renounce a throne, high office, dignity, or function
abdicableplay \-kə-bəl\ adjective
abdicationplay \ˌab-di-ˈkā-shən\ noun
abdicatorplay \ˈab-di-ˌkā-tər\ noun
Examples of abdicate in a sentence
The king was forced to abdicate.
The king abdicated the throne.
Did You Know?
Give it up. English includes many words for the process of throwing in the towel, especially for relinquishing a job or elected office. Abdicate, a derivative of the prefix ab- (meaning "from," "away," or "off") and the Latin verb dicare (meaning to "proclaim"), has been used primarily for those who give up sovereign power or who evade a very serious responsibility (such as parental responsibility). Renounce is often used as a synonym of abdicate, but it adds to that term the suggestion that an individual is giving up something as a sacrifice to achieve a far greater end. Resign is another option when you are describing a more matter-of-fact departure from a job, office, or trust.
Origin and Etymology of abdicate
Latin abdicatus, past participle of abdicare, from ab- + dicare to proclaim — more at diction
First Known Use: 1541
Synonym Discussion of abdicate
ABDICATE Defined for Kids
Definition of abdicate for Students
: to give up a position of power or authority <The ruler was forced to abdicate.>
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up abdicate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).