• IPA: /ˈdɛɹəlɪkt/


  1. Abandoned, forsaken; given up by the natural owner or guardian; (of a ship) abandoned at sea, dilapidated, neglected; (of a spacecraft) abandoned in outer space.
    There was a derelict ship on the island.
    • The affections which these exposed or derelict children bear to their mothers, have no grounds of nature or assiduity but civility and opinion.
  2. Negligent in performing a duty.
  3. Lost; adrift; hence, wanting; careless; neglectful; unfaithful.
    • They easily prevailed, so as to seize upon the vacant, unoccupied, and derelict minds of his friends; and instantly they turned the vessel wholly out of the course of his policy.
    • A government which is either unable or unwilling to redress such wrongs is derelict to its highest duties.
Synonyms Translations Translations Noun

derelict (plural derelicts)

  1. Property abandoned by its former owner, especially a ship abandoned at sea.
  2. (dated) An abandoned or forsaken person; an outcast.
    • 1911 Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax” (Norton 2005, p.1364):
      A rather pathetic figure, the Lady Frances, a beautiful woman, still in fresh middle age, and yet, by a strange chance, the last derelict of what only twenty years ago was a goodly fleet.
  3. A homeless and/or jobless person; a person who is (perceived as) negligent in their personal affairs and hygiene. (This sense is a modern development of the preceding sense.)
    • 2002, in The Cambridge Edition of the Works of D. H. Lawrence, The Boy in the Bush, edited by Paul Eggert, page 22:
      If they're lazy derelicts and ne'er-do-wells she'll eat 'em up. But she's waiting for real men — British to the bone —
  • Italian: oggetto abbandonato, rifiuto
  • French: épave, navire abandonné (en mer)
  • German: aufgegeben-ein verlassenes Schiff
  • Italian: relitto
Translations Translations
  • Russian: отщепе́нец

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