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



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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 Former jail director Ken Mills was recently sentenced to nine months in jail for misdemeanor counts of dereliction of duty. Kaitlin Durbin, cleveland, 16 Oct. 2021 Park City resident Angela Moschetta criticized the council members for the haphazard way the murals came about, and their dereliction in not including a diversity of community members in the decision. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 29 May 2021 People in Texas died at disproportionate rates because of a dereliction on behalf of the governor. Time, 22 June 2021 But the planning authorities accepted the argument of the developers — two Irish businessmen who bought the house in 2017 for 650,000 euros (about $785,000) — that commercial use would preserve its structure from dereliction. New York Times, 11 May 2021 But its effects on a wondrous, ambitious country have been magnified by the dereliction of India’s government. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, 3 May 2021 In an unexpected move, prosecutor Anthony Pierson, informed McIntosh that two dereliction of duty charges filed against Coy are being dismissed. Bill Hutchinson, ABC News, 28 Apr. 2021 Defense attorney Mark Collins said dropping the dereliction of duty charges was appropriate. CBS News, 28 Apr. 2021 Though certainly not on the devastating level of President Trump’s mixed messages on the overall pandemic, James’ waffling on the vaccine can be deemed, for a man of his stature, a life-endangering dereliction of duty. Los Angeles Times, 12 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for dereliction

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The first known use of dereliction was in 1597

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Statistics for dereliction

Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dereliction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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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
: 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


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