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Definition formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief — usually under pressure
  • Oh, I have been base, cowardly, I tell you; I have abjured my affections, and like all renegades I am of evil omen to those who surround me!
    Alexandre Dumas  --  The Count of Monte Cristo
  • The plain truth is, I have forsworn and abjured the whole business these many years, and my soul is sick of it.
    Charles Dickens  --  Bleak House
  • I am half resolved to go to the Grand Master, abjure the Order to his very teeth, and refuse to act the brutality which his tyranny has imposed on me.
    Sir Walter Scott  --  Ivanhoe
  • I am waiting from hour to hour for him to come and abjure his evidence.
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky  --  Crime and Punishment
  • These were his words, and all the Akhaians gave a roar of joy to hear the prince abjure his rage.
    Homer  --  The Iliad
  • Lord Blackwood shall be required to confess his treason and abjure his allegiance to the Starks and Tullys.
    George R.R. Martin  --  A Dance With Dragons
  • But that was an abjuration which, as they well knew, they were powerless to extort.
    Marcel Proust  --  Swann's Way
  • (editor's note:  The suffix "-tion", converts a verb into a noun that denotes the action or result of the verb. Typically, there is a slight change in the ending of the root verb, as in action, education, and observation.)
  • No one abjures the exercise of his reason and his free will; but every one exerts that reason and that will for the benefit of a common undertaking.
    Alexis de Toqueville  --  Democracy In America, Volume 1
  • No, rather I abjure all roofs, and choose To wage against the enmity o' the air; To be a comrade with the wolf and owl,— Necessity's sharp pinch!
    William Shakespeare  --  King Lear
  • Say, didst thou too abet This crime, or dost abjure all privity?
    Sophocles  --  Antigone
  • The protesting minority were forgotten in the throng which abjured and came; and the audience was almost as brilliant as the show.
    Edith Wharton  --  The House of Mirth
  • On receiving this the victim might either openly abjure his former ways, or might fly from the country.
    Arthur Conan Doyle  --  The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • THESEUS Either to die the death, or to abjure For ever the society of men.
    William Shakespeare  --  A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • By earth and stone, I abjure you!
    Patrick Rothfuss  --  The Name of the Wind
  • And while I suffer thus, there comes no ray Of hope to gladden me athwart the gloom; Nor do I look for it in my despair; But rather clinging to a cureless woe, All hope do I abjure for evermore.
    Miguel de Cervantes  --  Don Quixote
  • He began dating her on her annual two-week visits home, and although she still moved like a thirteen-year-old boy and abjured most feminine adornment, he found something so intensely feminine about her that he fell in love.
    Harper Lee  --  Go Set a Watchman
  • "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen," Oscar said.
    Joshua Davis  --  Spare Parts
  • A virtuous maid, the daughter of a count That died some twelvemonth since; then leaving her In the protection of his son, her brother, Who shortly also died; for whose dear love, They say, she hath abjured the company And sight of men.
    William Shakespeare  --  Twelfth Night
  • To gaze into the depths of blue of the child's eyes and pronounce their loveliness a trick of premature cunning was to be guilty of a cynicism in preference to which I naturally preferred to abjure my judgment and, so far as might be, my agitation.
    Henry James  --  The Turn of the Screw
  • Tolstoy was capable of abjuring physical violence and of seeing what this implies, but he was not capable of tolerance or humility, and even if one knew nothing of his other writings, one could deduce his tendency towards spiritual bullying from this single pamphlet.
    George Orwell  --  Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool

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