1

derelict

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adjective der·e·lict \ˈder-ə-ˌlikt, ˈde-rə-\

Definition of derelict

  1. 1 :  abandoned especially by the owner or occupant derelict warehouses; also :  run-down a derelict neighborhood

  2. 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

Did You Know?

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


First Known Use: 1649


2

derelict

noun der·e·lict

Definition of derelict

  1. 1a :  something voluntarily abandoned; especially :  a ship abandoned on the high seasb geology :  a tract of land left dry by receding water

  2. 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

Origin and Etymology of derelict

see 1derelict


First Known Use: 1670


DERELICT Defined for English Language Learners

1

derelict

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adjective der·e·lict \ˈder-ə-ˌlikt, ˈde-rə-\

Definition of derelict for English Language Learners

  • : no longer cared for or used by anyone

  • : failing to do what should be done


2

derelict

noun der·e·lict

Definition of derelict for English Language Learners

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


DERELICT Defined for Kids

1

derelict

play
adjective der·e·lict \ˈder-ə-ˌlikt\

Definition of derelict for Students

  1. 1 :  abandoned by the owner or occupant

  2. 2 :  in poor condition :  run-down a derelict old building

  3. 3 :  failing to do what should be done They were derelict in their duties.


2

derelict

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noun der·e·lict

Definition of derelict for Students

  1. 1 :  something abandoned (as a boat)

  2. 2 :  1bum 1, vagrant



Seen and Heard

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