[ ab-di-keyt ]
See synonyms for abdicate on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object),ab·di·cat·ed, ab·di·cat·ing.
  1. 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.

verb (used with object),ab·di·cat·ed, ab·di·cat·ing.
  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.

Origin of abdicate

First recorded in 1535–45; from Latin abdicāt(us) “renounced,” past participle of abdicāre “to renounce,” from ab- ab- + dicāre “to indicate, consecrate”

Other words for abdicate

Other words from abdicate

  • ab·di·ca·ble [ab-di-kuh-buhl], /ˈæb dɪ kə bəl/, adjective
  • ab·di·ca·tive [ab-di-key-tiv, -kuh-], /ˈæb dɪˌkeɪ tɪv, -kə-/, adjective
  • ab·di·ca·tor, noun
  • non·ab·di·ca·tive, adjective
  • un·ab·di·cat·ed, adjective
  • un·ab·di·cat·ing, adjective
  • un·ab·di·ca·tive, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use abdicate in a sentence

  • After the peace of Augsburg, which was published in September 1555, the emperor carried out his intention of abdicating.

  • Mr. Wharton had already declared his purpose of abdicating any possible possession of the property.

    The Prime Minister | Anthony Trollope
  • As he sat by the door and watched them file out, it was as if he were a king abdicating a throne, and these his faithful subjects.

  • Other German kings were abdicating and royal princes were fleeing for safety.

    Lest We Forget | John Gilbert Thompson
  • By his direction the united armies rolled like an avalanche upon Paris,—and Napoleon gave up the struggle by abdicating.

    The Story of Russia | R. Van Bergen, M.A.

British Dictionary definitions for abdicate


/ (ˈæbdɪˌkeɪt) /

  1. to renounce (a throne, power, responsibility, rights, etc), esp formally

Origin of abdicate

C16: from the past participle of Latin abdicāre to proclaim away, disclaim

Derived forms of abdicate

  • abdicable (ˈæbdɪkəbəl), adjective
  • abdication, noun
  • abdicative (æbˈdɪkətɪv), adjective
  • abdicator, noun

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