1

derelict

adjective der·e·lict \ ˈder-ə-ˌlikt , ˈde-rə- \
Updated on: 17 Nov 2017

Definition of derelict

1 :abandoned especially by the owner or occupant
  • derelict warehouses
; also :run-down
  • a derelict neighborhood
2 :lacking a sense of duty :negligent
  • derelict in his duty
  • derelict landlords

derelict was our Word of the Day on 12/09/2008. Hear the podcast!

Examples of derelict in a Sentence

  1. The officer was charged with being derelict in his duty.

  2. the guards were judged derelict in their duty

Recent Examples of derelict from the Web

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

derelict Has Latin Roots

The Latin verb relinquere left behind a few English derivatives. This word, itself meaning "to leave behind," is the root of our "derelict." Something derelict has been left behind, or at least appears that way. In another sense, someone derelict leaves behind or neglects his or her duties or obligations. Another descendent of "relinquere" is relinquish, meaning "to leave behind, "to give up," or "to release." "Relic" is another example of a word that ultimately comes from "relinquere." "Relics," in the original sense of the term, referred to things treasured for their association with a saint or martyr - that is, objects saints and martyrs had left behind.

Origin and Etymology of derelict

Latin derelictus, past participle of derelinquere to abandon, from de- + relinquere to leave — more at relinquish


2

derelict

noun

Definition of derelict

1 a :something voluntarily abandoned; especially :a ship abandoned on the high seas
b geology :a tract of land left dry by receding water
2 :a destitute homeless social misfit :vagrant, bum

Examples of derelict in a Sentence

  1. It was a run-down neighborhood filled with drugs addicts and derelicts.

  2. a section of the city that seemed to be frequented mostly by derelicts

Recent Examples of derelict from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of derelict


DERELICT Defined for English Language Learners

derelict

adjective

Definition of derelict for English Language Learners

  • : no longer cared for or used by anyone

  • : failing to do what should be done


derelict

noun

Definition of derelict for English Language Learners

  • : a person who has no money, job, home, etc.


DERELICT Defined for Kids

1

derelict

adjective der·e·lict \ ˈder-ə-ˌlikt \

Definition of derelict for Students

1 :abandoned by the owner or occupant
2 :in poor condition :run-down
  • a derelict old building
3 :failing to do what should be done
  • They were derelict in their duties.

2

derelict

noun

Definition of derelict for Students

1 :something abandoned (as a boat)
2 :1bum 1, vagrant


Seen and Heard

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