waived; waiving

transitive verb

: to relinquish (something, such as a legal right) voluntarily
waive a jury trial
: to refrain from pressing or enforcing (something, such as a claim or rule) : forgo
waive the fee
: to put off from immediate consideration : postpone
[influenced by wave entry 1] : to dismiss with or as if with a wave of the hand
waived the problem aside
: to place (a ball player) on waivers
also : to release after placing on waivers
: to throw away (stolen goods)
archaic : give up, forsake
archaic : to shunt aside (a danger or duty) : evade
Choose the Right Synonym for waive

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 waive in a Sentence

She waived her right to a lawyer. The university waives the application fee for low-income students.
Recent Examples on the Web The suspect appeared before a judge Monday afternoon and through his public attorney waived his right to a speedy trial. Alex Stone, ABC News, 5 Dec. 2023 The Biden administration quietly reversed a Trump administration ruling, granting a offshore wind developer's request to waive a significant fee. Fox News, 1 Dec. 2023 The City Council approved a resolution at its Nov. 13 meeting to waive competitive bidding to purchase the equipment for the park for almost $201,000 from ACS Playground. Lynn Kutter, arkansasonline.com, 28 Nov. 2023 Customers are charged $5.99 for either shipping or same-day delivery, a fee that is waived for orders of $35 or more. Liz Young, WSJ, 14 Nov. 2023 The story moved President Reagan, propelling the federal government to allow states to waive some Medicaid requirements so that people could get services in their homes instead of institutions. Emily Alpert Reyes, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2023 Another option is to place a pick up or delivery order, especially at stores where the fee is waived. Madison Medeiros, Parents, 23 Oct. 2023 The judge ruled in Bal’s favor, and the debt was waived. Robin Kaiser-Schatzlein, New York Times, 20 Nov. 2023 George Santos’ Ex-Campaign Treasurer to Plead Guilty to Felony as Congressman Faces His Own Federal Indictment Miele's guilty plea comes weeks after a former campaign treasurer for Santos, Nancy Marks, waived indictment and pleaded guilty to conspiring with a Congressional candidate to defraud. Virginia Chamlee, Peoplemag, 14 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'waive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English weiven to decline, reject, give up, from Anglo-French waiver, gaiver, from waif lost, stray — more at waif

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 6

Time Traveler
The first known use of waive was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near waive

Cite this Entry

“Waive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/waive. Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


waived; waiving
: to give up claim to
waived her right to answer
: to let pass
waive the fee
: to dismiss with or as if with a wave of the hand
waived the problem aside

Legal Definition


transitive verb
waived; waiving
: to relinquish (as a right or privilege) voluntarily and intentionally
the defendant waived a felony hearing on the chargeNational Law Journal
compare forfeit, reserve
: to refrain from enforcing or requiring
some statutes waive the age requirementW. M. McGovern, Jr. et al.
waivable adjective

Anglo-French waiver weiver, literally to abandon, forsake, from waif weif forlorn, stray, probably from Old Norse veif something loose or flapping

More from Merriam-Webster on waive

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