Word of the Day

Saturday, May 21, 2005


\AB-nih-gayt\ , transitive verb;
To refuse or deny oneself; to reject; to renounce.
To give up (rights, claims, etc.); to surrender; to relinquish.
An exaggerated veneration for an exceptional individual will allow worshippers "to abnegate responsibility, looking to the great man for salvation or for fulfilment" that we should work out for ourselves.
-- Christina Hardyment, "The intoxicating allure of great men" review of Heroes: Saviors Traitors and Supermen by Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Independent, October 19, 2004
Adrift and divided, lacking intelligent leadership from the White House, the members of Congress have chosen to abnegate their constitutional responsibility in the hope that the blunt, crude mechanism of Gramm-Rudman will compensate for the failure of political will.
-- Evan Thomas, "Look Ma! No hands!'", Time, December 23, 1985
Feed no more blossoms
to the wind, abnegate the constellations,
negate the sea and what is left
of your world? What is left then?
-- Alessandra Lynch, "Excommunication", American Poetry Review, July/August 2003
Abnegate is a back-formation from abnegation, from Late Latin abnegatio, abnegation-, from Latin abnegare, "to refuse; to refute," from ab-, "away" + negare, "to deny."
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