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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for dereliction



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web But to not plan for such a scenario would be dereliction of duty. Barry Tramel, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football might need a new season opener in 2020; here's which team should step up," 18 May 2020 The current practice of leaving town while conducting phony pro forma sessions is a dereliction of duty that the American people cannot afford during this crisis. Mike Debonis,, "Trump threatens to adjourn Congress to get his nominees but faces obstacles in Senate," 16 Apr. 2020 This is an unacceptable dereliction of the agency’s law enforcement mandate. Caitlin Dickerson, New York Times, "U.S. Government Plans to Collect DNA From Detained Immigrants," 2 Oct. 2019 Mills is charged with tampering with records, falsification and dereliction of duty. Adam Ferrise, cleveland, "Abused inmates, convicted jail officers round out potential witnesses in trial of ex-Cuyahoga County Jail director charged during rash of inmate deaths," 3 Mar. 2020 Faber sought the investigation on a charge of dereliction of duty, a second-degree misdemeanor. Dan Horn,, "Cincinnati City Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard resigns 'with great sadness'," 2 Mar. 2020 But the one thing that he’s truly hammered home is that cry of dereliction, destruction, and profane (yet not faithless) rage. Christian Wiman, Harper's magazine, "The Cancer Chair," 20 Jan. 2020 That this was not politically biased or based on some kind of political malfeasance suggests that there was some level of neglect and dereliction of duty. Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY, "A report on FBI surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser shows dysfunction, not political bias. That's still a problem.," 8 July 2016 Their willingness to disregard basic constitutional principles in the process is a dereliction. David B. Rivkin Jr. And Andrew M. Grossman, WSJ, "Shut Up, They Advised," 3 Feb. 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.

See More

First Known Use of dereliction

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dereliction

Time Traveler for dereliction

Time Traveler

The first known use of dereliction was in 1597

See more words from the same year

Statistics for dereliction

Last Updated

28 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dereliction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dereliction


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

More from Merriam-Webster on dereliction

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dereliction

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!