First attested before 1398. From Middle English abnegacioun, borrowed from Late Latin abnegātiō, from abnegō (“refuse, deny”), from ab (“off”) + negō (“deny; refuse, say no”). Compare French abnégation.
abnegation (plural abnegations)
- A denial; a renunciation; denial of desire or self-interest. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.]
1558, John Knox, Letter to the Queen Dowager:
- With abnegation of God, of his honor, and of religion, they may retain the friendship of the court.
1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 20, in The Dust of Conflict:
- Tony's face expressed relief, and Nettie sat silent for a moment until the vicar said “It was a generous impulse, but it may have been a momentary one, while in the case of monk and crusader there must have been a sustaining purpose, and possibly a great abnegation, a leaving of lands and possessions.”
- ^ “abnegation” in Lesley Brown, editor-in-chief; William R. Trumble and Angus Stevenson, editors, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 5th edition, Oxford; New York, N.Y.: Oxford University Press, 2002, ISBN 978-0-19-860457-0, page 6.
abnegation (plural abnegationes)