Also found in: Thesaurus, Idioms.


tr.v. re·lin·quished, re·lin·quish·ing, re·lin·quish·es
1. To give up or abandon (control of something or a claim, for example).
2. To put aside or desist from (something practiced, professed, or intended); stop doing or adhering to.
3. To let go; surrender: relinquished the lands by treaty.
4. To cease holding physically; release: relinquish a grip.

[Middle English relinquisshen, from Old French relinquir, relinquiss-, from Latin relinquere : re-, re- + linquere, to leave; see leikw- in Indo-European roots.]

re·lin′quish·er n.
re·lin′quish·ment n.
Synonyms: relinquish, yield, resign, abandon, surrender, cede, waive, renounce
These verbs mean letting something go or giving something up. Relinquish, the least specific, may connote regret: can't relinquish his dream of emigrating. Yield implies giving way, as to pressure, often in the hope that such action will be temporary: had to yield ground. Resign suggests formal relinquishing (resigned their claim to my land) or acquiescence arising from hopelessness (resigned himself to forgoing his vacation). Abandon and surrender both imply no expectation of recovering what is given up; surrender also implies the operation of compulsion or force: abandoned all hope for a resolution; surrendered control of the company. Cede connotes formal transfer, as of territory: ceded the province to the victor. Waive implies a voluntary decision to dispense with something, such as a right: waived all privileges. To renounce is to relinquish formally and usually as a matter of principle: renounced worldly goods.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.relinquished - that has been withdrawn or retreated from
unoccupied - not seized and controlled; "unoccupied areas of France"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
In ancient times the power of the kings extended to everything whatsoever, both civil, domestic, and foreign; but in after-times they relinquished some of their privileges, and others the people assumed, so that, in some states, they left their kings only the right of presiding over the sacrifices; and even those whom it were worth while to call by that name had only the right of being commander-in-chief in their foreign wars.
He had relinquished his marriage with Christine Daae.
Being childless, she could not remain beautiful by proxy, in the person of a daughter; she therefore refused to grow old and ugly, on any consideration; she struggled with Time, and held fast her roses in spite of him, till the venerable thief appeared to have relinquished the spoil, as not worth the trouble of acquiring it.
He relinquished them with an agreeable smile, and combated with the door as if it were a wild beast.
Here also we should preserve by Union, an advantage which nature holds out to us, and which would be relinquished by separation.
The mountaineers spurned at their offer, and declared that, unless all the horses were relinquished, the prisoners should be burnt to death.
The taxpayer proposed to structure the transfer of the real property to the lender as the disposition of relinquished property in a deferred like-kind exchange under Sec.
Global Banking News-April 1, 2013--BoE to get back powers it relinquished in 1997(C)2013 ENPublishing -
A STATEMENT from the Liverpool English Defence League said: "Kurtis Cawley in fact relinquished his affiliation with the EDL over 13 months ago, and the profile Kyle Huyton was handed over to the members of the division as a distraction due to the obvious persistent attention from troll profiles, Muslims, and the far left extremists of the UAF, Unite, Occupy Liverpool, Liverpool AF, and SOLFED, therefore the distraction of the profile would relinquish attention from upon other members and our admins.
According to terms of the contract, the Production Sharing Contracts for each of the Pulkhana and Arbat blocks is withdrawn, whereby ShaMaran's interests in both PSCs are relinquished.
But the two relinquished the field to PDO as the oil was very heavy and the area was affected by political turmoil.
Bishop Ferris, who now resides in Langley, B.C., relinquished his licence to Archbishop Terrence Buckle, metropolitan of the ecclesiastical province of British Columbia and the Yukon.

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