Word of the Day : February 15, 2012


verb AB-nih-gayt


1 : deny, renounce

2 : surrender, relinquish

Did You Know?

There's no denying that the Latin root "negare" has given English some useful words. That verb, which means "to deny," is the ultimate source of the noun "abnegation," a synonym of "denial" that began appearing in English manuscripts in the 14th century. By the 17th century, people had concluded that if there was a noun "abnegation," there ought to be a related verb "abnegate," and so they created one by a process called "back-formation" (that's the process of trimming a suffix or prefix off a long word to make a shorter one). But "abnegate" and "abnegation" are not the only English offspring of "negare." That root is also an ancestor of other nay-saying terms such as "deny," "negate," and "renegade."


The mayor has ordered the city's finance control board to abnegate its powers.

"Meanwhile, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which is charged with protecting reliability, abnegated its statutory responsibilities as the rule was being written." -- From an article in The Wall Street Journal, December 22, 2011

Name That Synonym

What synonym of "abnegate" rhymes with "bead"? The answer is ...


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