- left or deserted, as by the owner or guardian; abandoned: a derelict ship.
- neglectful of duty; delinquent; negligent.
- a person abandoned by society, especially a person without a permanent home and means of support; vagrant; bum.
- Nautical. a vessel abandoned in open water by its crew without any hope or intention of returning.
- personal property abandoned or thrown away by the owner.
- one guilty of neglect of duty.
- Law. land left dry by a change of the water line.
Origin of derelict
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordsdesolate, run-down, shabby, dilapidated, neglected, ruined, dingy, seedy, vagrant, beggar, slack, delinquent, solitary, castaway, renegade, tramp, stiff, outcast, drifter, bum
Examples from the Web for derelict
We stood on the rooftop of a derelict farmhouse meters away from a Turkish tank and a razor wire fence marking the end of Turkey.Impotent U.S. Airstrikes, Passive Turks and an ISIS Triumph
October 3, 2014
Today, all that remains of these Jewish holiday centers is a constellation of derelict buildings.The Best of the Beast, Aug 25-31: High Schools, Houdini and Hip-Hop Jihadists
The Daily Beast
August 30, 2014
He remembers, for example, living in Brooklyn Heights and trying to get booze from the “derelict liquor story nearby.”Andrew Rannells Is Back On ‘Girls.’ You’ll Want to Give Him a Hug.
February 13, 2014
The Daily Pic: In 1904 in Manhattan, the great Guastavino Co. gave palatial roofing to a subway station that's now derelict.Vaulting Ambition in Early New York
November 12, 2013
The barrier of stigma wedged between a person and others they deem “dirty” or “derelict” will not keep AIDS at bay.Should People Who Spread HIV Go to Jail?
May 7, 2009
Always glad to pick up a derelict, may be a chance for salvage, you know.Keziah Coffin
Joseph C. Lincoln
The derelict's forehead is punched in, starred across, and rent diagonally.With The Night Mail
We are going to help the derelict division of French in every way we can.Gallipoli Diary, Volume 2
Meanwhile the ship drifted, a derelict on the face of the Pacific.The Pirate of Panama
William MacLeod Raine
Had he been derelict in duty and let this lamb wander from the fold?A Little Girl in Old Detroit
Amanda Minnie Douglas
- deserted or abandoned, as by an owner, occupant, etc
- falling into ruins; neglected; dilapidated
- neglectful of duty or obligation; remiss
- a person abandoned or neglected by society; a social outcast or vagrant
- property deserted or abandoned by an owner, occupant, etc
- a vessel abandoned at sea
- a person who is neglectful of duty or obligation
Word Origin and History for derelict
1640s, from Latin derelictus "solitary, deserted," past participle of dereliquere "to abandon, forsake, desert," from de- "entirely" + relinquere "leave behind" (see relinquish). Originally especially of vessels abandoned at sea or stranded on shore. As a noun, from 1660s.