What It Means
1 a : to renounce upon oath
b : to reject solemnly
2 : to abstain from : avoid
abjure in Context
The expatriate solemnly *abjured his allegiance to his native land.
"Gingrich delivered a lengthy speech to a Jewish Republican organization during which he abjured even the mention of Romney's name." -- From an article by Niall Stanage at thehill.com, January 30, 2011*
Did You Know?
Just as a jury swears to produce an unbiased verdict, and a witness swears to tell the truth on pain of perjury, those who abjure their former ways "swear them away." "Abjure" (as well as "jury" and "perjury") comes from Latin "jurare," which means "to swear" (and which in turn is based on the root "jus," meaning "law"), plus the prefix "ab-," meaning "away." These days, we can casually abjure (that is, abstain from) vices such as smoking or overeating, but in the 15th and 16th centuries to abjure was a matter of renouncing something under oath--and sometimes a matter of life and death. For example, during the Spanish Inquisition, individuals were given the choice between abjuring unacceptable beliefs and being burned at the stake.
Test Your Vocabulary with M-W Quizzes
Name That Synonym
Fill in the blanks to create a synonym of "abjure": frwa. The answer is ...
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