- The definition of abdicate means to formally and/or publicly give up a position of power or a responsibility, usually by choice.
An example of abdicate is a king choosing to no longer be king.
intransitive verbabdicated, abdicating
- to give up formally (a high office, throne, authority, etc.)
- to surrender or repudiate (a right, responsibility, etc.)
Origin of abdicate; from Classical Latin abdicatus, past participle of abdicare, to deny, renounce ; from ab-, off + dicare, to proclaim, akin to dicere, to say: see diction
verbab·di·cat·ed, ab·di·cat·ing, ab·di·cates
Origin of abdicateLatin abdicāre, abdicāt-, to disclaim : ab-, away; see ab–1 + dicāre, to proclaim; see deik- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present abdicates, present participle abdicating, simple past and past participle abdicated)
- To surrender, renounce or relinquish, as sovereign power; to withdraw definitely from filling or exercising, as a high office, station, dignity; as, to abdicate the throne, the crown, the papacy; to fail to fulfill responsibility for. [First attested in the mid 17th century.]
- Note: The word abdicate was held to mean, in the case of James II, to abandon without a formal surrender.
- (intransitive) To relinquish or renounce a throne, or other high office or dignity; to renounce sovereignty. [First attested in the early 18th century.]