• First attested in 1541.
  • From Latin abdicātus (renounced), perfect passive participle of abdicō (renounce, reject, disclaim), formed from ab (away) + dicō (proclaim, dedicate, declare), akin to dīcō (say).



abdicate (third-person singular simple present abdicates, present participle abdicating, simple past and past participle abdicated)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To disclaim and expel from the family, as a father his child; to disown; to disinherit. [mid 16th – early 19th c.]
  2. (transitive, reflexive, obsolete) To formally separate oneself from or to divest oneself of. [mid 16th – late 17th c.]
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To depose. [early 17th – late 18th c.]
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To reject; to cast off; to discard. [mid 16th – late 17th c.]
    • 1647 June 8 (Gregorian calendar), Joseph Hall, “Bishop Hall’s Hard Measure”, in The Shaking of the Olive-Tree. The Remaining Works of that Incomparable Prelate Joseph Hall, D.D. [], London: [] J. Cadwel for J[ohn] Crooke, [], published 1660, OCLC 318422010, page 48:
      [W]e were legally call'd by his Majeſties writ to give our Attendance in Parliament, [] if we did not, we ſhould betray the Truſt committed to us by his Majeſtie, and ſhamefully betray and abdicate the due right both of our ſelves and Succeſſours.
  5. (transitive) To surrender, renounce or relinquish, as sovereign power; to withdraw definitely from filling or exercising, as a high office, station, dignity; to fail to fulfill responsibility for. [from mid 17th c.]
    to abdicate the throne, the crown, the papacy
    Note: The word abdicate was held to mean, in the case of James II, to abandon without a formal surrender.
  6. (intransitive) To relinquish or renounce a throne, or other high office or dignity; to renounce sovereignty. [First attested in the early 18th c.]



Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


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  1. inflection of abdicare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of abdicō