abnegate

verb ab·ne·gate \ ˈab-ni-ˌgāt \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of abnegate

abnegated; abnegating
transitive verb
formal
1 : deny, renounce
  • abnegated their God
2 : surrender, relinquish
  • abnegated her powers

abnegator

play \-ˌgā-tər\ noun

abnegate was our Word of the Day on 02/15/2012. Hear the podcast!

Examples of abnegate in a Sentence

  1. abnegated all claims to the deceased lord's domain

  2. felt that if the Congress adopted these security measures, it would be abnegating the nation's fundamental commitment to individual rights

Recent Examples of abnegate from the Web

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.

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."

Origin and Etymology of abnegate

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



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