Definition of relinquish in US English:



[with object]
  • Voluntarily cease to keep or claim; give up.

    ‘he relinquished his managerial role to become chief executive’
    • ‘The real fascists must be the ones who keep trying to prevent individuals from freely relinquishing their rights and the rights of others for the good of the state.’
    • ‘In other words the National Trust is willing to, in a nutshell, relinquish our claims of ownership under those conditions.’
    • ‘Demands are made on parents relinquish custody of their disabled child in return for funding for support services for a disability.’
    • ‘A great many designers, it would seem, enjoy relinquishing the responsibility for such things in favor of client interests.’
    • ‘France has been reluctant to relinquish the remaining pieces of its colonial empire.’
    • ‘In February of the following year the Sioux, under duress, relinquished their claim to the Black Hills.’
    • ‘It was only in 1801 that the British monarchy formally relinquished its claim to the French throne.’
    • ‘There is no evidence of her ever wishing to voluntarily relinquish the post.’
    • ‘Their lawyer told the court that, since they had relinquished any claim to the child, there was no purpose in continuing the application.’
    • ‘Personally I am not so unconfident in our nation as to believe any agreement we enter into with the United States immediately means we are relinquishing our sovereignty.’
    • ‘Despite relinquishing day-to-day control of his company, Gates is still chairman and tends to just have weekends free for the foundation.’
    • ‘By now we're reluctant to relinquish them, so like a part of our bodies have they become.’
    • ‘He relinquished this perk as he himself prefers to live with his large family in a shack in the location.’
    • ‘He has lived in the U.S.A. since 1966 but he has never relinquished his Canadian citizenship.’
    • ‘Such a course of action would then result in that particular councillor relinquishing his or her right to participate in the debate and vote when the application is determined by the planning committee.’
    • ‘She believes that when women do not have the right to choose what happens to their bodies, they risk relinquishing rights in other areas.’
    • ‘However, he signed a contract relinquishing his claim to his benefits in April 1994, just one month earlier.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, you may have to relinquish some managerial control in exchange for their money!’
    • ‘It comes across as granting power to the multitudes, but is actually about relinquishing responsibility for ideas and actions and submitting to the spontaneous.’
    • ‘Robert relinquished his claim in return for Henry's territories in Normandy and a large annuity.’
    renounce, give up, part with, give away
    leave, resign from, stand down from, bow out of, walk out of, retire from, give up, depart from, vacate, pull out of, abandon, abdicate
    discontinue, stop, cease, give up, drop, desist from
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Old French relinquiss-, lengthened stem of relinquir, from Latin relinquere, from re- (expressing intensive force) + linquere ‘to leave’.