• synonyms


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.
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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.
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Origin of abdicate

1535–45; < Latin abdicātus renounced (past participle of abdicāre), equivalent to ab- ab- + dicātus proclaimed (dic- (see dictum) + -ātus -ate1)
Related formsab·di·ca·ble [ab-di-kuh-buhl] /ˈæb dɪ kə bəl/, adjectiveab·di·ca·tive [ab-di-key-tiv, -kuh-] /ˈæb dɪˌkeɪ tɪv, -kə-/, adjectiveab·di·ca·tor, nounnon·ab·di·ca·tive, adjectiveun·ab·di·cat·ed, adjectiveun·ab·di·cat·ing, adjectiveun·ab·di·ca·tive, adjective
Can be confusedabdicate abrogate arrogate derogate


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for abdicator


  1. to renounce (a throne, power, responsibility, rights, etc), esp formally
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Derived Formsabdicable (ˈæbdɪkəbəl), adjectiveabdication, nounabdicative (æbˈdɪkətɪv), adjectiveabdicator, noun

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for abdicator



1540s, "to disown, disinherit (children)," from Latin abdicatus, past participle of abdicare "to disown, disavow, reject" (specifically abdicare magistratu "renounce office"), from ab- "away" (see ab-) + dicare "proclaim," from stem of dicere "to speak, to say" (see diction). Meaning "divest oneself of office" first recorded 1610s. Related: Abdicated; abdicating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper