[ rez-ig-ney-shuhn ]
/ ˌrɛz ɪgˈneɪ ʃən /
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the act of resigning.
a formal statement, document, etc., stating that one gives up an office, position, etc.
an accepting, unresisting attitude, state, etc.; submission; acquiescence: to meet one's fate with resignation.
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Origin of resignation

1350–1400; Middle English <Middle French <Medieval Latin resignātiōn- (stem of resignātiō) a canceling, rescinding, equivalent to Latin resignāt(us) (past participle of resignāre to resign; see -ate1) + -iōn--ion

OTHER WORDS FROM resignation

non·res·ig·na·tion, nounpro·res·ig·na·tion, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does resignation mean?

Resignation is the act of resigning—quitting one’s job or giving up one’s position.

In this context, it can also refer to the formal statement or document that announces a person’s intention to resign. This sense of the word is often used with the verb tender, meaning to formally offer or present, as in I’ve tendered my resignation, effective immediately. It can also be used as a modifier, as in resignation letter.

Resignation can also mean an accepting, unresisting attitude or state of submission, as in There is a sense of resignation in the room now that most of the votes are in and there doesn’t appear to be any path to victory. 

Example: Several senior officials have tendered their resignations, but it’s unclear whether they will be accepted.

Where does resignation come from?

The first records of the word resignation come from the 1300s. It is ultimately derived from the Latin verb resignāre, meaning “give up” or “unseal, invalidate, destroy.”

When used in the sense of leaving a position, resign is synonymous with quit, but the two words can imply different things. To say that someone quit their job often (though not always) implies that they left because they didn’t like something about it. Someone can resign due to negative circumstances, but the word itself doesn’t imply this without additional context. For example, a politician might resign due to a scandal, or an employee might resign to protest a policy they consider unethical. But resignation doesn’t always involve negative circumstances. A person might resign because they’re moving or they want to change their career.

Sometimes, people are given the option of resignation instead of being fired. This especially happens in governmental or political appointments. When an official offers their resignation in order to take responsibility for a failure or scandal, it’s possible that their boss might not accept it—meaning that they can keep their job or position.

When it’s used to refer to an attitude of acceptance, resignation typically implies that the person recognizes that there is nothing left to be done to improve the situation and is resigned to their fate.

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What are some other forms related to resignation?

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What are some words that share a root or word element with resignation


What are some words that often get used in discussing resignation?

How is resignation used in real life?

Resignation is most commonly used in the context of quitting a job, especially in a public way.



Try using resignation!

Is resignation used correctly in the following sentence?

Several employees are threatening resignation in protest of the new dress code.

How to use resignation in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for resignation

/ (ˌrɛzɪɡˈneɪʃən) /

the act of resigning
a formal document stating one's intention to resign
a submissive unresisting attitude; passive acquiescence
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