der·​e·​lic·​tion | \ ˌder-ə-ˈlik-shən How to pronounce dereliction (audio) , ˌde-rə-\

Definition of dereliction

1a : an intentional abandonment
b : the state of being abandoned
2 : a recession of water leaving permanently dry land
3a : intentional or conscious neglect : delinquency dereliction of duty

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Synonyms & Antonyms for dereliction


abandonment, desertion, forsaking



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Examples of dereliction in a Sentence

the dereliction of a cause by its leaders The officer was formally charged with dereliction of duty. a serious dereliction of duty
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Recent Examples on the Web

Marchand and Meffre, though, love the stations' dereliction. Edward Carr, 1843, "We apologise for the decay," 29 Aug. 2019 For local and national governments, inaction is a dereliction of duty to future generations. The Economist, "One way or another the deluge is coming," 15 Aug. 2019 Pedro has been a faithful servant, and a useful one, but the rest of those represent a dereliction of duty, with the baffling purchase of Papy Djilobodji, soon to be of couldn't-get-a-kick-at-Sunderland fame, the most derelict of the lot., "Ranking Every Chelsea Summer Transfer Window Since 2002," 10 Aug. 2019 The dereliction leaves the district ripe for fraud thanks to poor internal controls, says the report from the state’s Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team, which helps guide public schools and colleges out of financial calamity. Nanette Asimov,, "‘High risk of insolvency’ for troubled Peralta Community College District," 25 July 2019 Perhaps upon seeing me — a uniformed flight attendant — lounging in a passenger seat, the woman was outraged by my apparent dereliction of duty. Elliott Hester,, "That flight attendant in a passenger seat? He's not on duty so leave him alone," 1 July 2019 The loss of Pavarotti to stadium events didn’t just feel like an affront, but a dereliction of duty. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, "Even opera lovers should grit their teeth and watch this mediocre Pavarotti film," 6 June 2019 This imperial 17th- and 18th-century palace, with its famed ballroom frescoes by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, had fallen into dereliction by the mid 20th century, when it was bought by the deep-pocketed aesthete Carlos de Bestegui. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Peter Marino and the Venetian Heritage Hosted a Gilded Dinner to Celebrate All Things Venice," 10 Apr. 2019 The ship’s commanding officer and tactical action officer face charges of negligent dereliction of duty. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Secret Probe Into USS Fitzgerald Disaster Revealed a Ship in Appalling Shape," 14 Jan. 2019

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

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First Known Use of dereliction

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for dereliction

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for dereliction

The first known use of dereliction was in 1597

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English Language Learners Definition of dereliction

: the act of no longer caring for, using, or doing something : the act of abandoning something
: the condition of being no longer cared for
law : failure to do your job or duty : failure to do what you should do


der·​e·​lic·​tion | \ ˌder-ə-ˈlik-shən How to pronounce dereliction (audio) \

Legal Definition of dereliction

1a : an intentional abandonment
b : a state of being abandoned
2 : a recession of water leaving permanently dry land
3 : an intentional or conscious neglect dereliction of duty

More from Merriam-Webster on dereliction

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dereliction

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dereliction

Comments on dereliction

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


concealment of treason or felony

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