verb re·lin·quish \ri-ˈliŋ-kwish, -ˈlin-\

: to give up (something) : to give (something, such as power, control, or possession) to another person or group

Full Definition of RELINQUISH

transitive verb
:  to withdraw or retreat from :  leave behind
:  give up <relinquish a title>
a :  to stop holding physically :  release <slowly relinquished his grip on the bar>
b :  to give over possession or control of :  yield <few leaders willingly relinquish power>
re·lin·quish·ment \-mənt\ noun

Examples of RELINQUISH

  1. They had turned to an open adoption after pursuing infertility treatments for 18 years, and the birth mother had agreed to relinquish custody at the hospital. —Emily Nussbaum, Discover, January 2000


Middle English relinquisshen, from Anglo-French relinquiss-, stem of relinquir, from Latin relinquere to leave behind, from re- + linquere to leave — more at loan
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of RELINQUISH

relinquish, yield, resign, surrender, abandon, waive mean to give up completely. relinquish usually does not imply strong feeling but may suggest some regret, reluctance, or weakness <relinquished her crown>. yield implies concession or compliance or submission to force <the troops yielded ground grudgingly>. resign emphasizes voluntary relinquishment or sacrifice without struggle <resigned her position>. surrender implies a giving up after a struggle to retain or resist <surrendered their claims>. abandon stresses finality and completeness in giving up <abandoned all hope>. waive implies conceding or forgoing with little or no compulsion <waived the right to a trial by jury>.
RELINQUISH Defined for Kids


verb re·lin·quish \ri-ˈliŋ-kwish\

Definition of RELINQUISH for Kids

:  to let go of :  give up <“She's not the type to relinquish her new powers.” — Avi, Crispin>


Next Word in the Dictionary: reliquaryPrevious Word in the Dictionary: relinquentAll Words Near: relinquish
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears