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derelict

[der-uh-likt]
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adjective
  1. left or deserted, as by the owner or guardian; abandoned: a derelict ship.
  2. neglectful of duty; delinquent; negligent.
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noun
  1. a person abandoned by society, especially a person without a permanent home and means of support; vagrant; bum.
  2. Nautical. a vessel abandoned in open water by its crew without any hope or intention of returning.
  3. personal property abandoned or thrown away by the owner.
  4. one guilty of neglect of duty.
  5. Law. land left dry by a change of the water line.
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Origin of derelict

1640–50; < Latin dērelictus forsaken (past participle of dērelinquere), equivalent to dē- de- + relictus past participle of relinquere to leave, abandon; see relinquish
Related formsder·e·lict·ly, adverbder·e·lict·ness, nounnon·der·e·lict, adjective, noun

Synonyms

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

Related Words

desolate, 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

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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

    Rudyard Kipling

  • We are going to help the derelict division of French in every way we can.

  • 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


British Dictionary definitions for derelict

derelict

adjective
  1. deserted or abandoned, as by an owner, occupant, etc
  2. falling into ruins; neglected; dilapidated
  3. neglectful of duty or obligation; remiss
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noun
  1. a person abandoned or neglected by society; a social outcast or vagrant
  2. property deserted or abandoned by an owner, occupant, etc
  3. a vessel abandoned at sea
  4. a person who is neglectful of duty or obligation
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Word Origin

C17: from Latin dērelictus forsaken, from dērelinquere to abandon, from de- + relinquere 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

Word Origin and History for derelict

adj.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper