Definition of abnegate in US English:



[with object]formal
  • Renounce or reject (something desired or valuable)

    ‘he attempts to abnegate personal responsibility’
    • ‘The flipside is that participation is seductive and may effectively co-opt employees into abnegating their interests and policing themselves in toxic ways.’
    • ‘Mrs. Shem abnegates her part in the cursing and places the blame on the patriarch.’
    • ‘It abnegated the right to ask for official compensation, in the hope of opening a bright new chapter with this neighbouring country and walking out from the shadow of hostility and hatred.’
    • ‘Greeks like Aristotle, who opposed atomism, equated it with a blind desire to abnegate the governance of Nature in favour of pure chance.’
    • ‘It is the Romantic-humanist heresy which holds that we should nurture our egos rather than abnegate them.’
    • ‘Well, sections of society believe that execution is acceptable and simultaneously consider themselves moral people, is there an ethical justification for this beyond abnegating responsibility to a book of myths?’
    • ‘Another criticism is that they sentimentalise the past or make it antiquarian by abnegating the context and concentrating on the artefacts.’
    • ‘Feed no more blossoms to the wind, abnegate the constellations, negate the sea and what is left of your world?’
    • ‘In passages such as these, his most distinctive, Thackeray comes perilously near abnegating his responsibility as a human being, let alone as a moralist or satirist.’
    • ‘Doctors may offload their ethical problems on clinical ethicists, abnegating their moral responsibilities too easily.’
    • ‘They have abnegated all morality and all fellow feeling for the rest of mankind.’
    • ‘‘Distant’ is the sort of spare, demanding work whose pared-down aesthetic requires a viewer who's prepared to abnegate movie-going's instant gratifications.’
    • ‘When the United States allowed the President to make himself a dictator, Cubans promulgated a new constitution that abnegated the hated Platt Amendment.’
    • ‘Young's art simultaneously unfolds, extends, abnegates, and defies authorship and receivership - all in one fell swoop.’
    • ‘When an undomesticated woman refuses to hide her sexuality, abnegates her maternity, she creates a force field of extraordinary energy.’
    • ‘He is undermining the suffering of victims and abnegating his responsibility as the leader of this country's Catholics.’
    • ‘Whatever life and value this town ever possessed have now been abnegated.’
    renounce, reject, refuse, abandon, spurn, abdicate, give up, relinquish, abjure, repudiate, forswear, disavow, cast aside, drop, turn one's back on, wash one's hands of, eschew
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Early 17th century: from Latin abnegat- ‘renounced’, from the verb abnegare, from ab- ‘away, off’ + negare ‘deny’.