Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for May 30, 2017 is:
abdicate \AB-dih-kayt\ verb
1 : to renounce
a throne, high office, dignity, or function
2 : to relinquish
(something, such as sovereign power) formally
3 : to cast off : discard
"[The Duke of Windsor] abdicated the throne of the British Empire but remained king of men's style all his life. One of his great tricks was to elevate humble or casual trends and fabrics." — Nicholas Foulkes, Newsweek, 2 Sept. 2016
"… while dining at the restaurant Daniel in New York City, I asked Raj Vaidya, the head sommelier, to pick a red wine for my main course…. I don't abdicate this sacramental responsibility lightly, but Vaidya knows my taste, and he almost invariably comes up with something special." — Jay McInerney, Town & Country, 1 June 2015
Did you know?
Give it up. English includes many words for the process of throwing in the towel, especially for relinquishing a job or elected office. Abdicate, a derivative of the prefix ab- (meaning "from," "away," or "off") and the Latin verb dicare (meaning to "proclaim"), has been used primarily for those who give up sovereign power or who evade a very serious responsibility (such as parental responsibility). Renounce
is often used as a synonym of abdicate, but it adds to that term the suggestion that an individual is giving up something as a sacrifice to achieve a far greater end. Resign
is another option when you are describing a more matter-of-fact departure from a job, office, or trust.