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 Turning a blind eye to behaviors that knowingly lead to, and in some cases encourage, fraud is a dereliction of duty. Trey Trainor, National Review, "Vote by Mail: The Unintended Consequences," 5 Oct. 2020 The special prosecutor who investigated a group of Cincinnati City Council members for secretly conducting city business via text messages has recommended the members not be criminally charged with dereliction of duty. Sharon Coolidge, The Enquirer, "Special prosecutor: No dereliction of duty charges for Cincinnati City Council 'Gang of 5'," 28 Sep. 2020 And my family is lucky, in that the public schools’ dereliction of duty probably won’t harm our finances or our son’s academic development. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "Welcome to Virtual Kindergarten," 17 Sep. 2020 The lack of law and order surrounding these riots, and response from local leadership, is a dereliction of duty. Anthony Leonardi, Washington Examiner, "Andrew Cuomo says Trump 'better have an army' for protection if he comes to New York," 2 Sep. 2020 But the sense of dereliction has been replaced by unease. Tamara Qiblawi, CNN, "With Macron's visit to Beirut, Lebanon's future is looking a lot like the past," 1 Sep. 2020 Jermaine Clements, 39, is charged with first-degree misdemeanor assault, interfering with civil rights and falsification and second-degree misdemeanor dereliction of duty. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, "What will Cleveland’s presidential debate look like? The Wake Up for Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020," 26 Aug. 2020 Mills, who resigned in 2018, has been indicted on charges of tampering with records, two counts of falsification and two counts of dereliction of duty. John Caniglia, cleveland, "Cuyahoga County’s fired budget director Maggie Keenan sues county over retaliation for whistleblowing," 29 June 2020 What has caused the breakdown is the dereliction of members of the president’s political party. Walter M. Shaub Jr., The New York Review of Books, "Ransacking the Republic," 17 June 2020

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

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dereliction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2020.

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How to pronounce dereliction (audio)

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

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