re·​lin·​quish | \ri-ˈliŋ-kwish, -ˈlin-\
relinquished; relinquishing; relinquishes

Definition of relinquish 

transitive verb

1 : to withdraw or retreat from : leave behind

2 : give up relinquish a title

3a : to stop holding physically : release slowly relinquished his grip on the bar

b : to give over possession or control of : yield few leaders willingly relinquish power

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Other Words from relinquish

relinquishment \ri-​ˈliŋ-​kwish-​mənt, -​ˈlin-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for relinquish

relinquish, yield, resign, surrender, abandon, waive mean to give up completely. relinquish usually does not imply strong feeling but may suggest some regret, reluctance, or weakness. relinquished her crown yield implies concession or compliance or submission to force. the troops yielded ground grudgingly resign emphasizes voluntary relinquishment or sacrifice without struggle. resigned her position surrender implies a giving up after a struggle to retain or resist. surrendered their claims abandon stresses finality and completeness in giving up. abandoned all hope waive implies conceding or forgoing with little or no compulsion. waived the right to a trial by jury

Examples of relinquish in a Sentence

They had turned to an open adoption after pursuing infertility treatments for 18 years, and the birth mother had agreed to relinquish custody at the hospital. — Emily Nussbaum, Discover, January 2000 In April of that year Albert Slyusar, one of the legendary figures of the Afghanistan war, had relinquished command of 103 Guards Airborne Division. — Carey Schofield, The Russian Elite, 1993 The feedback seems to operate on the premise that people who relinquish the civilized art of maintaining creative cities are not to be entrusted with the risks of developing further. — Jane Jacobs, Cities and the Wealth of Nations, (1984) 1985 The Major no sooner heard the voice, than he relinquished Mr Dombey's arm, darted forward, took the hand of the lady in the chair and pressed it to his lips. — Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son, 1848 I will not relinquish my rights. She was forced to relinquish control of the project. The court ordered him to relinquish custody of his child.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In fact, Meghan relinquished her private account and her fashion and lifestyle blog, The Tig, in the time leading up to her engagement. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Chiara Ferragni's Wedding Dress Is More Influential than Meghan Markle's," 5 Sep. 2018 North Korea and Washington have yet to negotiate the terms under which the North would relinquish its weapons, so Pyongyang can be expected to seek leverage in those discussions. Washington Post, "Experts see risks in US plan to dismantle NKorea’s nukes," 3 July 2018 But the court has held that the government cannot require recipients of governmental largess to relinquish constitutional rights in return—particularly free-speech rights. David B. Rivkin And Randal John Meyer, WSJ, "Another IRS Free-Speech Scandal," 22 Nov. 2018 Campa-Najjar said Hunter, a former Marine who resigned from the House Armed Services Committee after House Speaker Paul Ryan asked him to relinquish his committee assignments, would no longer qualify for a security clearance. Fox News, "Indicted California incumbent steps up attacks on Democrat," 16 Oct. 2018 The Black Hood has some weird vendetta against her, forcing her to relinquish her starring role of Carrie in the school musical. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Everything That Happened On "Riverdale" Season 2," 8 Oct. 2018 Analysts are skeptical that Kim would agree to relinquish his nuclear weapons, but according to former U.S. national foreign policy advisor and North Korea expert Dr. Victor Cha, the optics of the June 12 summit are likely to be good. Joseph Hincks / Seoul, Time, "Translating Trump and Kim: Spare a Thought for the Interpreters at the June 12 Summit," 11 June 2018 Weinstein agreed to relinquish his passport and wear a monitoring device that tracks his movements. Maeve Mcdermott, USA TODAY, "Harvey Weinstein on trial: All the questions about his legal battle, answered," 25 May 2018 Louis fought the change for a bit, but agreed to relinquish the throne in 1217. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Some People Scored a Good Deal of Cash When the Royal Baby's Name Was Announced," 27 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'relinquish.' 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 relinquish

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for relinquish

Middle English relinquisshen, from Anglo-French relinquiss-, stem of relinquir, from Latin relinquere to leave behind, from re- + linquere to leave — more at loan

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Statistics for relinquish

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for relinquish

The first known use of relinquish was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for relinquish



English Language Learners Definition of relinquish

: to give up (something) : to give (something, such as power, control, or possession) to another person or group


re·​lin·​quish | \ri-ˈliŋ-kwish \
relinquished; relinquishing

Kids Definition of relinquish

: to let go of : give up “She's not the type to relinquish her new powers.”— Avi, Crispin

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