ab·​ne·​ga·​tion ˌab-ni-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce abnegation (audio)
: denial
especially : self-denial
Monks practice abnegation of the material aspects of human life.

Examples of abnegation in a Sentence

the couple's sudden abnegation of life in the fast lane for work as missionaries stunned everyone
Recent Examples on the Web Is that an abnegation of interviewer responsibility? David Marchese David Marchese Photograph By Mamadi Doumbouya, New York Times, 8 Oct. 2023 In the latter’s rewrite of the Lancelot fable, the abducted Guinevere was elevated to a glamorous ice queen commanding knightly self-abnegation. Tina Brown, New York Times, 15 Dec. 2022 The life that Alharthi describes is one of almost saintly self-abnegation. Ron Charles, Washington Post, 24 May 2022 His naïve insolence punctures the vanities of other filmmakers while offering no alternative, and the movie that results is a joyless, confused self-abnegation. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 11 Apr. 2022 That abnegation of critical judgment is the most important feature of the 1994 statement. Michael Bérubé, The New Republic, 21 Mar. 2022 Where to go in a world where every slight, every frown, every chagrin, every cloud and every rainy day is a cause for outrage, denunciation, shame, self-abnegation and maybe even a congressional investigation or two? WSJ, 14 June 2021 Many performers practice public self-abnegation about their talent. Washington Post, 12 May 2021 That abnegation is an illness that has reached pandemic-level proportions under the panopticon of white-supremacist patriarchy, which seeds division among women through social pressure. Washington Post, 28 Mar. 2021 See More

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

Word History


Middle English abnegacioun, borrowed from Late Latin abnegātiōn-, abnegātiō, from Latin abnegāre "to refute, decline, deny" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns — more at abnegate

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of abnegation was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near abnegation

Cite this Entry

“Abnegation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abnegation. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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