der·​e·​lic·​tion | \ ˌder-ə-ˈlik-shən, 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

The result can look like executive overreach and judicial activism, but the root of the problem is legislative dereliction. Yuval Levin, WSJ, "‘Judicial Fortitude’ Review: Time for Congress to Do Its Job," 2 Jan. 2019 And that has been a huge dereliction on the part of America's elites. Fox News, "Tucker takes on Kavanaugh opponent; Martha MacCallum's takeaways from interview with Kavanaugh," 25 Sep. 2018 Such ignorance would signify a dereliction of your duty as the head of the FCC, particularly due to the severity of the allegations and the blatant lack of evidence. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "Ajit Pai grilled by lawmakers on why FCC spread “myth” of DDoS attack," 14 Aug. 2018 Sanchez pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty on May 25, 2018, after negligent homicide charges were dropped. Jasmine Khayami And Elizabeth Strassner, USA TODAY, "Collisions reveal a Navy tragically undone by its can-do spirit," 25 June 2018 Combs faces court-martial on charges of negligent dereliction of duty resulting in death and negligent hazarding of a vessel, according to a Navy statement. Jasmine Khayami And Elizabeth Strassner, USA TODAY, "Collisions reveal a Navy tragically undone by its can-do spirit," 25 June 2018 The former commanding officer of the USS John McCain has pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty, after a deadly August collision near Singapore. CBS News, "Former USS John McCain officer pleads guilty after deadly collision," 25 May 2018 Sarah Coppock has pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty. Ian Duncan,, "On first Memorial Day since his son's death, Navy father is still figuring out how to move forward," 28 May 2018 For that matter, saying anything else would be dereliction of duty. Marcus Hayes,, "Claude Giroux admits booing Philly fans hurt Flyers in NHL playoffs | Marcus Hayes," 25 Apr. 2018

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

9 Jan 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 \

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).


someone who never drinks alcohol

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