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

b : fault, shortcoming

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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

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 The supervisors are charged with dereliction of duty, a first-degree misdemeanor, in the Nov. 29, 2012 chase that began at the Justice Center in Cleveland and ended in the parking lot outside Heritage Middle School in East Cleveland. Evan Macdonald,, "Deadly 2012 chase: Cleveland cops ask for review of offer to drop charges in exchange for money," 12 Apr. 2018 The Attorney General may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "The White House just let slip a big secret about firing Robert Mueller," 10 Apr. 2018 The regulations only allow Mueller’s removal for ‘‘misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest or for other good cause’’ including violation of Justice Department policies. Zeke Miller,, "Once again, Trump says Mueller is on a ‘witch hunt’," 10 Apr. 2018 In a time when refugee crises are many, and many Americans (and not Americans alone) look at immigrants through dun-colored glasses, not to examine these issues would seem a sort of dereliction of duty. Robert Lloyd,, "'The Crossing' on ABC: The refugees are coming, but from when?," 2 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

7 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for dereliction

The first known use of dereliction was in 1597

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More Definitions for dereliction



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

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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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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