verb ab·jure \ ab-ˈju̇r \
|Updated on: 1 Jun 2018

Definition of abjure

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



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Examples of abjure in a Sentence

  1. abjured some long-held beliefs when she converted to another religion

  2. a strict religious sect that abjures the luxuries, comforts, and conveniences of the modern world

Recent Examples of abjure from the Web

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.

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) vices such as smoking or overeating, 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.

Origin and Etymology of 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 1jury

Synonym Discussion of 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

Law Dictionary


transitive verb ab·jure \ ab-ˈju̇r, əb- \

legal Definition of abjure

abjured; abjuring
: renounce; specifically : to disclaim formally or renounce upon oath
  • solemnly abjures his allegiance to his former country


play \ˌab-jə-ˈrā-shən\ noun

Origin and Etymology of abjure

Latin abjurare, from ab- off + jurare to swear

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one who attends or assists a leader

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