abnegate

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

Definition of abnegate

transitive verb

1 formal : deny, renounce abnegated their God
2 formal : surrender, relinquish abnegated her powers

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from abnegate

abnegator \ ˈab-​ni-​ˌgā-​tər How to pronounce abnegator (audio) \ noun, formal

Abnegate Has Latin Roots

There's no denying that the Latin root negare has given English some useful words. That verb, which means "to deny," is the ultimate source of the noun "abnegation," a synonym of "denial" that began appearing in English manuscripts in the 14th century. By the 17th century, people had concluded that if there was a noun "abnegation," there ought to be a related verb "abnegate," and so they created one by a process called "back-formation" (that's the process of trimming a suffix or prefix off a long word to make a shorter one). But "abnegate" and "abnegation" are not the only English offspring of "negare." That root is also an ancestor of other nay-saying terms such as "deny," "negate," and "renegade."

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 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, "Soil and Water Conservation District opposes Ag Reserve proposal," 6 July 2017

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

First Known Use of abnegate

1543, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for abnegate

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about abnegate

Time Traveler for abnegate

Time Traveler

The first known use of abnegate was in 1543

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about abnegate

Statistics for abnegate

Cite this Entry

“Abnegate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abnegate?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=a&file=abnega01. Accessed 14 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on abnegate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abnegate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abnegate

Nglish: Translation of abnegate for Spanish Speakers

Comments on abnegate

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to assail by words or arguments

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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