re·​lin·​quish | \ ri-ˈliŋ-kwish How to pronounce relinquish (audio) , -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 How to pronounce relinquishment (audio) , -​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 Still employed here or not, Chara will have fully relinquished his role as the backline’s main force to McAvoy, Carlo, and perhaps Torey Krug, the latter of whom now stands only some 42 weeks removed from reaching unrestricted free agency., "Pivotal payday for Bruins’ Charlie McAvoy - The Boston Globe," 16 Sep. 2019 The aforementioned study by the NCPPSP found that the number one reason people relinquish their pets is because of moving, while a disallowing landlord is the second. NBC News, "Adopting a pet? Ask yourself these questions first," 12 Sep. 2019 Rogers disputes that and wants Probate Judge Veronica Vasquez to declare that Vivian and Valeri relinquished their 20 percent interests and that Val, James Adam and James Andrew each own a 20 percent interest in the estate. Patrick Danner,, "Cotter heirs battle over San Antonio real estate tycoon’s estate," 12 Sep. 2019 Porsche’s extraordinary performance is unlikely be relinquished by VW any time soon. The Economist, "Porsche is small but highly lucrative," 12 Sep. 2019 Wall Street Journal Jack Ma Today’s the day that Jack Ma relinquishes his role as Alibaba chairman, handing over to current CEO Daniel Zhang. David Meyer, Fortune, "Randall Stephenson’s Big Challenge: CEO Daily," 10 Sep. 2019 The Bears navigated a 2-hour, 39-minute lightning delay Saturday night in Seattle, moved ahead in the third quarter, relinquished their lead late in the fourth quarter and ultimately marched downfield to a game-winning field goal. Ron Kroichick,, "Cal returns to work after big win over Huskies; LT Will Craig out for season," 9 Sep. 2019 Lampert, who relinquished the CEO role when the company filed for bankruptcy, was the company's largest shareholder and creditor at the time of the bankruptcy. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Sears and Kmart corporate workforce is shrinking with around 250 layoffs," 5 Sep. 2019 Williams rolled her left ankle holding a match point against Karolina Pliskova at the Australian Open in January and ended up relinquishing a 5-1 advantage in the third set of their quarterfinal. Ravi Ubha, CNN, "Serena Williams advances to US Open quarterfinals but injures her ankle," 1 Sep. 2019

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

1 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for relinquish

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

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More Definitions for relinquish


How to pronounce relinquish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of relinquish

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


re·​lin·​quish | \ ri-ˈliŋ-kwish How to pronounce relinquish (audio) \
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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Comments on relinquish

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a calculated move

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