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From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Ab·di·cate v. t. [imp. & p. p. Abdicated p. pr. & vb. n. Abdicating.]
 1. To surrender or relinquish, as sovereign power; to withdraw definitely from filling or exercising, as a high office, station, dignity; as, to abdicate the throne, the crown, the papacy.
 Note:The word abdicate was held to mean, in the case of James II., to abandon without a formal surrender.
    The cross-bearers abdicated their service.   --Gibbon.
 2. To renounce; to relinquish; -- said of authority, a trust, duty, right, etc.
    He abdicates all right to be his own governor.   --Burke.
    The understanding abdicates its functions.   --Froude.
 3. To reject; to cast off. [Obs.]
 4. Civil Law To disclaim and expel from the family, as a father his child; to disown; to disinherit.
 Syn: -- To give up; quit; vacate; relinquish; forsake; abandon; resign; renounce; desert.
 Usage: -- To Abdicate, Resign. Abdicate commonly expresses the act of a monarch in voluntary and formally yielding up sovereign authority; as, to abdicate the government. Resign is applied to the act of any person, high or low, who gives back an office or trust into the hands of him who conferred it. Thus, a minister resigns, a military officer resigns, a clerk resigns. The expression, “The king resigned his crown,” sometimes occurs in our later literature, implying that he held it from his people. -- There are other senses of resign which are not here brought into view.