AskDefine | Define derelict

Dictionary Definition

derelict adj
1 deserted or abandoned as by an owner; "a derelict ship"
2 failing in what duty requires; "derelict (or delinquent) in his duty"; "neglectful of his duties"; "remiss of you not to pay your bills" [syn: delinquent, neglectful, remiss]


1 a person unable to support himself
2 a ship abandoned on the high seas [syn: abandoned ship]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /'dɛrəlɪkt/
  • /dEr@lIkt/


Latin derelictus past participle of derelinquere 'forsake, abandon' from de + relinquere 'leave, forsake'.


  1. Abandoned, forsaken; (of ship) abandoned at sea; dilapidated, neglected.
    There was a derelict ship on the island.
  2. Negligent in performing a duty.






  1. Abandoned property; a ship abandoned at sea.
  2. An abandoned or forsaken person; an outcast.
    • 1911: 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. — Arthur Conan Doyle, ‘The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax’ (Norton 2005, p.1364)
  3. A negligent person.


abandoned property
abandoned ship
negligent person

Extensive Definition

Derelict or dereliction commonly refers to:
But may also refer to:
  • Derelict soil, land that has been damaged by industrial or other development activity
  • The Derelict, a 1912 short story by William Hope Hodgson
  • The Derelicts, a 1970s British R&B band
  • Derelict (song), a fictional sea-shanty from the novel Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • A song by Beck on the album Odelay
derelict in French: déglingue

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Bowery bum, DP, Ishmael, abandoned, battered, beachcomber, beat-up, beaten up, beggar, beggarly fellow, behindhand, blighter, broken-down, budmash, bum, bummer, caitiff, careless, cast-off, castaway, castoff, culpably negligent, declasse, decrepit, delinquent, deserted, desolate, devil, dilapidated, dilatory, dingy, disaffected, discard, discarded, disloyal, disowned, displaced person, disregardful, disused, dogie, down-and-out, drifter, drunkard, evictee, exile, expatriate, expellee, faded, faithless, false, fickle, floater, flotsam, flotsam and jetsam, forsaken, foundling, good-for-naught, good-for-nothing, heedless, hobo, human wreck, in ruins, inadvertent, inattentive, inconstant, irresponsible, jetsam, jettisoned, junk, lagan, laissez-faire, lax, lazzarone, left, leper, loafer, loose, lowlife, malingerer, marooned, mauvais sujet, mean wretch, mucker, neglected, neglectful, neglecting, negligent, no-good, noninterfering, nonrestrictive, not true to, of bad faith, off-guard, orphan, outcast, outcast of society, outcaste, outlaw, outside the gates, outside the pale, overly permissive, pariah, pauvre diable, permissive, persona non grata, pilgarlic, poor creature, poor devil, procrastinating, ramshackle, recreant, refuse, regardless, reject, rejected, relaxed, remiss, rubbish, ruined, ruinous, run-down, sad case, sad sack, scamping, seedy, shabby, skid-row bum, skimping, slack, slacker, slighting, slipshod, sloppy, slovenly, slummy, slurring, social outcast, solitary, stiff, street arab, sundowner, swagman, threadbare, tottery, tramp, trash, trothless, truant, tumbledown, unacceptable person, uncircumspect, uncouth, undependable, undesirable, unfaithful, unguarded, unloyal, unreliable, unrigorous, unsteadfast, untouchable, untrue, untrustworthy, unwary, unwatchful, vag, vagabond, vagrant, vaurien, waif, waifs and strays, wastrel, worthless fellow, wretch
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