ab·​jure | \ ab-ˈju̇r How to pronounce abjure (audio) \
abjured; abjuring

Definition of abjure

transitive verb

1 formal
a : to renounce upon oath He abjured his allegiance to his former country.
b : to reject solemnly She abjured her old beliefs.
2 formal : to abstain from : avoid abjure extravagance

Other Words from abjure

abjurer noun, formal

Choose the Right Synonym for abjure

abjure, renounce, forswear, recant, retract mean to withdraw one's word or professed belief. abjure implies a firm and final rejecting or abandoning often made under oath. abjured the errors of his former faith renounce may carry the meaning of disclaim or disown. renounced abstract art and turned to portrait painting forswear may add an implication of perjury or betrayal. I cannot forswear my principles recant stresses the withdrawing or denying of something professed or taught. if they recant they will be spared retract applies to the withdrawing of a promise, an offer, or an accusation. the newspaper had to retract the story

Did you know?

Just as a jury swears to produce an unbiased verdict, and a witness swears to tell the truth on pain of perjury, those who abjure their former ways "swear them away." Abjure (as well as jury and perjury) comes from Latin jurare, which means "to swear" (and which in turn is based on the root jus, meaning "law"), plus the prefix ab-, meaning "away." These days, we can casually abjure (that is, abstain from) various vices, but in the 15th and 16th centuries to abjure was a matter of renouncing something under oath—and sometimes a matter of life and death. For example, during the Spanish Inquisition, individuals were given the choice between abjuring unacceptable beliefs and being burned at the stake.

Examples of abjure in a Sentence

abjured some long-held beliefs when she converted to another religion a strict religious sect that abjures the luxuries, comforts, and conveniences of the modern world
Recent Examples on the Web This description annoys some of the serious players who work and train for months, who develop rare skills, and who abjure alcohol during the competition. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 July 2022 His new book, Because Our Fathers Lied, is a valiant and abrasive attempt to sift through a legacy his father refused to abjure. Noah Kulwin, The New Republic, 6 July 2022 The potential to abjure the will of the people in order to advance a partisan agenda seems vast. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 28 Jan. 2022 Sinema gets permission to hide from the press and abjure her constituents in part because she has been given the centrist/moderate stamp of approval. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 6 Oct. 2021 The attempt by Protestant reformer John Calvin to vindicate God’s sovereignty ultimately forced him to abjure any meaningful belief in human free will, leaving us as either tools in the hands of our Maker or utter slaves to sin. Michael Brendan Dougherty, National Review, 25 Jan. 2021 Taking the oath to absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure my homeland was more terrifying. Jakki Kerubo, Longreads, 10 Aug. 2020 Generally, Majumdar abjures commentary and interior analysis in favor of incident, the decisive ramifications of action. James Wood, The New Yorker, 1 June 2020 Passionately denouncing the inequity of his time, Francis of Assisi abjured his wealth and joined the beggars. Karen Armstrong, New York Times, 3 Mar. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abjure.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of abjure

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for abjure

Middle English abjuren, borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French abjurer, borrowed from Medieval Latin abjūrāre, "to repudiate, renounce (a right or claim), swear to stay away from," going back to Latin, "to deny knowledge of falsely under oath, repudiate," from ab- ab- + jūrāre "to swear" — more at jury entry 1

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Cite this Entry

“Abjure.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abjure. Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for abjure


transitive verb
ab·​jure | \ ab-ˈju̇r, əb- How to pronounce abjure (audio) \
abjured; abjuring

Legal Definition of abjure

: renounce specifically : to disclaim formally or renounce upon oath solemnly abjures his allegiance to his former country

Other Words from abjure

abjuration \ ˌab-​jə-​ˈrā-​shən How to pronounce abjure (audio) \ noun

History and Etymology for abjure

Latin abjurare, from ab- off + jurare to swear

More from Merriam-Webster on abjure

Nglish: Translation of abjure for Spanish Speakers


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