Renunciation, abnegation, self-abnegation, self-denial can all mean voluntary surrender or putting aside of something desired or desirable.
Renunciation (see also under renounce at ABDICATE ) commonly connotes personal sacrifice for a higher end (as the good of others, or moral discipline, or the attainment of the highest good).
Historically abnegation is scarcely distinguishable from self-abnegation, although the trend is toward preference for the latter or its equivalent abnegation of self. Both words more often denote a quality of character than an act, and both imply a high degree of unselfishness or a capacity for putting aside all personal interests or desires.
Self-denial, unlike abnegation, is usually applied to an act or a practice. Though it means denial of oneself or forbearance from gratifying one’s own desires, it does not necessarily connote nobility in the act, its motive, or its end and is therefore applicable to a larger range of instances than either abnegation or renunciation .