ab·​ne·​gate ˈab-ni-ˌgāt How to pronounce abnegate (audio)
abnegated; abnegating

transitive verb

formal : deny, renounce
abnegated their God
formal : surrender, relinquish
abnegated her powers
abnegator noun formal

Did you know?

Abnegate Has Latin Roots

There's no denying that the Latin root negāre, meaning "to deny," has given English some useful words, among them abnegate, which is used in formal settings to mean "to deny or renounce" (with responsibilities typically being the thing denied), and "to surrender or relinquish" (with personal desires or self-interest being the thing surrendered). Abnegate combines negāre with the Latin prefix ab-, meaning "from or away." (The related noun abnegation means "denial" or "self-denial.") Other negāre relations include negative, negate, renegade, and deny.

Examples of abnegate in a Sentence

abnegated all claims to the deceased lord's domain felt that if the Congress adopted these security measures, it would be abnegating the nation's fundamental commitment to individual rights
Recent Examples on the Web Her sins are the sins of loving too much and in too self-abnegating a fashion. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 14 Mar. 2023 Abnegating this responsibility is going against the will of the people and we were voted in to protect the interests of the people. Jan Engoren, Sun-Sentinel.com, 6 July 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'abnegate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Latin abnegātus, past participle of abnegāre "to refute, decline, deny," from ab- ab- + negāre "to say no, deny" — more at negate

First Known Use

1543, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of abnegate was in 1543


Dictionary Entries Near abnegate

Cite this Entry

“Abnegate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abnegate. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


ab·​ne·​gate ˈab-ni-ˌgāt How to pronounce abnegate (audio)
abnegated; abnegating
: to give up a right or privilege
abnegate her power
: to deny to oneself : renounce
abnegating outdated beliefs

More from Merriam-Webster on abnegate

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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