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Abdicate vs Renounce vs Resign

Abdicate, renounce and resign all mean to give up formally or definitely.

Abdicate implies a giving up of sovereign power or sometimes an evading of responsibility such as that of a parent.

  • She was forced to abdicate the throne of Spain.
  • Many parents simply abdicate all responsibility for their children.

Renounce may be chosen when the sacrifice, especially to some higher or moral end, is stressed.

  • The treaties renounce the use of force and pledge the two countries to co-operation.

Resign applies especially to the giving up of an unexpired office or trust.

  • A hospital administrator has resigned over claims he lied to get the job.