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[ri-ling-kwish] /rɪˈlɪŋ kwɪʃ/
verb (used with object)
to renounce or surrender (a possession, right, etc.):
to relinquish the throne.
to give up; put aside or desist from:
to relinquish a plan.
to let go; release:
to relinquish one's hold.
Origin of relinquish
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English relinquissen, relinquisshen < Middle French relinquiss-, long stem of relinquirLatin relinquere to leave behind, equivalent to re- re- + linquere to leave (akin to lend)
Related forms
relinquisher, noun
relinquishment, noun
nonrelinquishment, noun
unrelinquished, adjective
unrelinquishing, adjective
2. yield, cede, waive, forego, abdicate, leave, quit, forswear, desert, resign. See abandon1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for relinquish
  • Sorry you had to relinquish your dog to a rescue group but you shouldn't give up on the idea of getting a rescue dog.
  • The only reason the dogs respond as they do is because you relinquish your leadership position during that moment.
  • Well, in the first place you have to be lucky to get a rabbit to relinquish it's foot.
  • My suggestion is for you to relinquish any reliance on fossil fuels for an entire month.
  • First it grabbed several bands in its big crusher claw and refused to relinquish them.
  • Likewise, other molecules are greedy for stray electrons and will relinquish some energy when they get them.
  • Police sergeants receive from eighteen to twenty-eight chart days, and have so far refused to relinquish any of them.
  • She has made it plain that she will never relinquish her right to bring them up.
  • And, they will not agree to relinquish that religious claim.
  • He may praise readers who defy the authority of a poet, but his language does not relinquish the meaningful authority of a judge.
British Dictionary definitions for relinquish


verb (transitive)
to give up (a task, struggle, etc); abandon
to surrender or renounce (a claim, right, etc)
to release; let go
Derived Forms
relinquisher, noun
relinquishment, noun
Word Origin
C15: from French relinquir, from Latin relinquere to leave behind, from re- + linquere to leave
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for relinquish

mid-15c., "desert, abandon;" late 15c., "give up, desist," from Old French relinquiss-, present participle stem of relinquir (12c.), from Latin relinquere "leave behind, forsake, abandon, give up," from re- "back" (see re-) + linquere "to leave," from PIE *linkw-, from root *leikw- "to leave behind" (cf. Sanskrit reknas "inheritance, wealth," rinakti "leaves;" Greek leipein "to leave;" Gothic leihvan, Old English lænan "to lend;" Old High German lihan "to borrow;" Old Norse lan "loan"). Related: Relinquished; relinquishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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