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From Middle English relinquisshen, from the inflected stem relinquiss- of Middle French relinquir, from Latin relinquere, itself from re- + linquere (to leave). Compare also Sanskrit रिणक्ति (riṇakti, to leave).


  • IPA(key): /ɹɪˈlɪŋkwɪʃ/
  • (file)


relinquish (third-person singular simple present relinquishes, present participle relinquishing, simple past and past participle relinquished)

  1. (transitive) To give up, abandon or retire from something. To trade away.
    to relinquish a title
    to relinquish property
    to relinquish rights
    to relinquish citizenship or nationality
    relinquish power
    • 1942 February, Railway Magazine, page 62:
      With this issue Mr. W. A. Willox regretfully relinquishes the editorship of THE RAILWAY MAGAZINE
  2. (transitive) To let go (free, away), physically release.
  3. (transitive) To metaphorically surrender, yield control or possession.
    • 2011, Tom Fordyce, “Rugby World Cup 2011: England 12-19 France”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      But it was the most fleeting of false dawns. Dmitri Yachvilli slotted a penalty from distance after Flood failed to release his man on the deck, and France took a grip they would never relinquish.
  4. (transitive) To accept to give up, withdraw etc.
    The delegations saved the negotiations by relinquishing their incompatible claims to sole jurisdiction.

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