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[ri-ling-kwish] /rɪˈlɪŋ kwɪʃ/
verb (used with object)
to renounce or surrender (a possession, right, etc.):
to relinquish the throne.
to give up; put aside or desist from:
to relinquish a plan.
to let go; release:
to relinquish one's hold.
Origin of relinquish
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English relinquissen, relinquisshen < Middle French relinquiss-, long stem of relinquirLatin relinquere to leave behind, equivalent to re- re- + linquere to leave (akin to lend)
Related forms
relinquisher, noun
relinquishment, noun
nonrelinquishment, noun
unrelinquished, adjective
unrelinquishing, adjective
2. yield, cede, waive, forego, abdicate, leave, quit, forswear, desert, resign. See abandon1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for relinquish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But not for that did aunt Ann relinquish her quest for the betterment of the domestic world.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
  • The term of your imprisonment ceases when you relinquish the hope of Beatriz.

    Calderon The Courtier Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • Casanova promptly moved as if to relinquish his seat in the carriage.

    Casanova's Homecoming Arthur Schnitzler
  • Rather than relinquish her, however, he would have set Rome on fire.

  • I determined to relinquish every advantage to Grushnitski; I wanted to test him.

    A Hero of Our Time M. Y. Lermontov
British Dictionary definitions for relinquish


verb (transitive)
to give up (a task, struggle, etc); abandon
to surrender or renounce (a claim, right, etc)
to release; let go
Derived Forms
relinquisher, noun
relinquishment, noun
Word Origin
C15: from French relinquir, from Latin relinquere to leave behind, from re- + linquere to leave
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for relinquish

mid-15c., "desert, abandon;" late 15c., "give up, desist," from Old French relinquiss-, present participle stem of relinquir (12c.), from Latin relinquere "leave behind, forsake, abandon, give up," from re- "back" (see re-) + linquere "to leave," from PIE *linkw-, from root *leikw- "to leave behind" (cf. Sanskrit reknas "inheritance, wealth," rinakti "leaves;" Greek leipein "to leave;" Gothic leihvan, Old English lænan "to lend;" Old High German lihan "to borrow;" Old Norse lan "loan"). Related: Relinquished; relinquishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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