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 the 110th Massachusetts Amateur’s 36-hole final, Frodigh (Dedham C&PC) took an early lead and never relinquished it . Mia Berry,, "Patrick Frodigh captures MassAm golf championship," 13 July 2018 Peeing outside the box is, no pun intended, the number one behavior that causes owners to relinquish cats to shelters. National Geographic, "Would Your Cat Choose You Over Its Food?," 19 May 2018 Given a one-run lead, Padres closer Brad Hand did not relinquish it. Dennis Lin,, "Emotional victory for Solarte, Padres," 18 Sep. 2017 The tricky part is the second step: finding an affordable adsorbent material that will attract uranium in a marine environment and then relinquish it so that it can be processed into nuclear fuel. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Attention knitters: Researchers harvest uranium from the sea with a yarn “net”," 18 June 2018 But his company relinquished the property in February 2017, according to property records. Joshua Sharpe, ajc, "Good things coming for notorious, crime-infested DeKalb complex?," 7 July 2018 Privacy - Terms Audero relinquished her post one week after former FPPC Chair Jodi Remke, another Brown appointee, officially stepped down days before the primary election. Taryn Luna, sacbee, "Second commissioner resigns from California's political watchdog agency," 11 June 2018 What is North Korea’s incentive to relinquish its nuclear weapons? Rick Gladstone, New York Times, "Trump and Kim May Define ‘Korea Denuclearization’ Quite Differently," 10 June 2018 The Eritrean government used Ethiopia's refusal to relinquish sovereign Eritrean territory and the subsequent militarization of the border to justify its own repressive rules at home. Awol K. Allo, CNN, "Ethiopia's new Prime Minister has had a stellar two months, can he keep it up?," 7 June 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

20 Sep 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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