verb (1)
re·​sign | \ri-ˈzīn \
resigned; resigning; resigns

Definition of resign 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : relegate, consign especially : to give (oneself) over without resistance resigned herself to her fate

2 : to give up deliberately especially : to renounce (something, such as a right or position) by a formal act

intransitive verb

1 : to give up one's office or position : quit

2 : to accept something as inevitable : submit


verb (2)
\(ˌ)rē-ˈsīn \
re-signed; re-signing; re-signs

Definition of re-sign (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to sign again especially : to rehire (someone, such as an athlete) by means of a signed contract

intransitive verb

: to sign up again

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Other Words from resign

Verb (1)

resignedly \ri-​ˈzī-​nəd-​lē \ adverb
resignedness \ri-​ˈzī-​nəd-​nəs \ noun
resigner \ri-​ˈzī-​nər \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for resign

Verb (1)

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

abdicate, renounce, resign mean to give up a position with no possibility of resuming it. abdicate implies a giving up of sovereign power or sometimes an evading of responsibility such as that of a parent. abdicated the throne renounce may replace it but often implies additionally a sacrifice for a greater end. renounced her inheritance by marrying a commoner resign applies to the giving up of an unexpired office or trust. resigned from the board

Is it quit or resign?

Should you quit or should you resign from your job? No matter which one you choose, it is likely that both of these actions will have the exact same effect on your future, as they are, in this sense, fairly synonymous. However, each is more likely to be found used in specific settings, so you may wish to choose your word with care. Resign is more formal, and will often be found when a person is describing relinquishing a position or office, especially if it is done in disgrace. While it would not be incorrect to say that a member of an organization's board, a king or queen, or a political leader "quit their position," it is more likely that the word resign would be employed.

Examples of resign in a Sentence

Verb (1)

The senator was forced to resign his position. The newspaper's editor resigned after the scandal. He resigned from his job as principal of the school.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In his 18-month tenure at the EPA, Pruitt, who resigned last month, made a practice of deregulating materials and practices which had been previously deemed hazardous by the federal government due to health concerns. Alissa Walker, Curbed, "AIA says EPA should impose a ‘blanket ban’ on asbestos," 9 Aug. 2018 White was named more than an interim a year ago after Dallas Dance resigned suddenly amid a criminal investigation into his failure to report income from a contractor who was doing business with the county. Liz Bowie,, "Baltimore County school board OKs details of interim superintendent White's contract for next year," 11 July 2018 In the wake of the incident, Bloom resigned from a North Carolina homeowners’ association board, according to the New York Times. Char Adams,, "White Man Who Called Cops on Black Mom for Using Local Pool Loses Job Over 'Terrible Incident'," 10 July 2018 Gresch was appointed to the position of interim administrator after previous Administrator Matt Janecke resigned June 18. Henry J. Morgan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After her predecessor's abrupt resignation, Lisbon interim administrator to stay on for foreseeable future," 9 July 2018 Dominic Raab, who succeeded David Davis as secretary for the Department for Exiting the European Union (DEXEU) after the latter resigned on Sunday night, has a reputation as something of a hard man, just like his predecessor. The Economist, "Meet Dominic Raab: the new Brexit boss," 9 July 2018 Hubly resigned from the district in 2016 after the accusations came to light. Amanda Marrazzo, McHenry County, "Ex-music teacher avoids jail for battery, alcohol offenses after lawyer calls victims 'prima donnas'," 6 July 2018 Perschbach was named interim CEO March 28, about a week after previous CEO Roland Mower resigned under pressure from the board. Lynn Brezosky, San Antonio Express-News, "Perschbach named Port San Antonio CEO," 28 June 2018 By the time of the court trial in 1979, Thorpe had long resigned from his position and been replaced by David Steele as Liberal Party leader. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "The True Story of “A Very English Scandal” and the Trials of a Closeted Gay Politician," 27 June 2018

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

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Verb (2)

1805, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for resign

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Anglo-French resigner, from Latin resignare, literally, to unseal, cancel, from re- + signare to sign, seal — more at sign

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Statistics for resign

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for resign

The first known use of resign was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for resign



English Language Learners Definition of resign

: to give up (a job or position) in a formal or official way


re·​sign | \ri-ˈzīn \
resigned; resigning

Kids Definition of resign

1 : to give up (a job or position) by a formal or official act

2 : to prepare to accept something unpleasant Unable to sleep, I resigned myself to await his return …— Mildred D. Taylor, Roll of Thunder

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More from Merriam-Webster on resign

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with resign

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for resign

Spanish Central: Translation of resign

Nglish: Translation of resign for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of resign for Arabic Speakers

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