verb re·sign \ ri-ˈzīn \
|Updated on: 5 Aug 2018

Definition of resign

resigned; resigning; resigns
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
1 : to give up one's office or position : quit
2 : to accept something as inevitable : submit


play \ri-ˈzī-nəd-lē\ adverb


play \ri-ˈzī-nəd-nəs\ noun


play \ri-ˈzī-nər\ noun

Examples of resign in a Sentence

  1. The senator was forced to resign his position.

  2. The newspaper's editor resigned after the scandal.

  3. He resigned from his job as principal of the school.

Recent Examples of resign from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of resign

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

Synonym Discussion of resign

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


verb \ (ˌ)rē-ˈsīn \

Definition of re-sign

re-signed; re-signing; re-signs
: to sign again; especially : to rehire (someone, such as an athlete) by means of a signed contract
: to sign up again

First Known Use of re-sign


in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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RESIGN Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of resign for English Language Learners

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

RESIGN Defined for Kids


verb re·sign \ ri-ˈzīn \

Definition of resign for Students

resigned; resigning
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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