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

Definition of abjure

transitive verb

1a : 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from abjure

abjurer noun

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) 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.

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

Where the commercial fishery runs on the acquisition of fish for private profiit, the subsistence is part of an indigenous economy that abjures hoarding and celebrates the sharing of a bounty whose creatures are assigned both intelligence and souls. Richard Adams Carey, WSJ, "‘Kings of the Yukon’ Review: A Song for the Salmon," 25 May 2018 After Spain passed a law banning parties that supported terrorism, some of the group’s leaders created a new party, EH Bildu, which abjured violence. The Economist, "Spain’s ETA Basque terrorists disband," 9 May 2018 That did not mean abjuring love as a subject, but rather ennobling it while understanding its limitations. Jesse Green, New York Times, "A Brief History of Gay Theater, in Three Acts," 26 Feb. 2018 Nobody is forcing him to abjure press conferences or any other interaction with journalists where he may be asked tough questions. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "India’s Politkovskaya Moment," 12 Sep. 2017 In short, the administration would be betting on budget hawks abjuring their principles. Kori Schake, The Atlantic, "America's Military: Overcommitted and Underfunded," 26 June 2017 Constructed in response to the disaster that was the Iraq War, the Obama doctrine abjures direct U.S. military intervention in countries that don’t represent a direct security threat to the United States, such as Syria. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "How Much of the Obama Doctrine Will Survive Trump?," 8 Dec. 2016

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about abjure

Listen to Our Podcast about abjure

Dictionary Entries near abjure








Statistics for abjure

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for abjure

The first known use of abjure was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for abjure

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 abjuration (audio) \ noun

History and Etymology for abjure

Latin abjurare, from ab- off + jurare to swear

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on abjure

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abjure

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abjure

Spanish Central: Translation of abjure

Nglish: Translation of abjure for Spanish Speakers

Comments on abjure

What made you want to look up abjure? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a small bunch of flowers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!