Word of the Day Archive
Friday June 7, 2013
1. to give up or renounce (authority, duties, an office, etc.), especially in a voluntary, public, or formal manner: King Edward VIII of England abdicated the throne in 1936.
2. to renounce or relinquish a throne, right, power, claim, responsibility, or the like, especially in a formal manner: The aging founder of the firm decided to abdicate.
I hereby abdicate all government power over the flow of data across and within my borders. Under no circumstances will any part of this government snoop on information flows, or use its power to in any way restrict such flows.
-- Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon, 1999
What if he were to abdicate the title and become a republican?
-- Anthony Trollope, The Duke's Children, 1879
Abdicate comes from the Latin abdicare meaning "to disown," "to disavow," or "to reject." The transitive sense entered English in the 1500s, though the intransitive sense didn't appear until 100 years later.