[ ri-zahyn ]
/ rɪˈzaɪn /

verb (used without object)

to give up an office or position, often formally (often followed by from): to resign from the presidency.
to submit; yield: to resign before the inevitable.

verb (used with object)

to give up (an office, position, etc.), often formally.
to relinquish (a right, claim, agreement, etc.).
to give or sign over, as to the control or care of another: She resigned her child to an adoption agency.
to submit (oneself, one's mind, etc.) without resistance.

Origin of resign

1325–75; Middle English resignen < Middle French resigner < Latin resignāre to open, release, cancel, equivalent to re- re- + signāre to mark, seal, sign


re-sign resign

Definition for resign (2 of 2)

[ ree-sahyn ]
/ riˈsaɪn /

verb (used with or without object)

to sign again.
to renew or extend a contract.

Origin of re-sign

First recorded in 1795–1805


re-sign resign


What does resign mean?

Resign most commonly means to give up one’s job or position.

When used this way, resign can be used without an object, as in He resigned yesterday, or with one, as in She is expected to resign her position. In its general sense, resign means to yield or submit, as in When he knew he couldn’t possibly win the match, he decided to resign. 

Example: They say he resigned on his own, but I think he was forced out.

Where does resign come from?

Resign has been used to mean “quit” or “yield” since at least the 1300s. It is ultimately derived from the Latin verb resignāre, meaning “give up” or “unseal, invalidate, destroy.” Resignāre is formed from the prefix re-, meaning “again,” and signāre, meaning “to seal.”

When used in the sense of leaving a position, resign is synonymous with quit, but the two words can imply different things. To say that someone quit their job often (though not always) implies that they left because they didn’t like something about it. Someone can resign due to negative circumstances, but the word itself doesn’t imply this without additional context. For example, a politician might resign due to a scandal, or an employee might resign to protest a policy they consider unethical. But resigning doesn’t always involve negative circumstances. A person might resign because they’re moving or they want to change their career.

Sometimes, people are given the option to resign instead of being fired. This especially happens in governmental or political appointments.

A person who has resigned is often said to have tendered (or given) their resignation.

Resign can also mean “to give oneself up to a feeling or circumstance,” as in I just have to resign myself to the fact that I’ll never be a professional bowler.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to resign?

  • resignation (noun)
  • resigned (adjective)
  • resignedly (adverb)
  • resigner (noun)

What are some synonyms for resign?

What are some words that share a root or word element with resign


What are some words that often get used in discussing resign?

What are some words resign may be commonly confused with?

How is resign used in real life?

Although anyone can resign from any job, the word is most commonly associated with politicians.



Try using resign!

Is resign used correctly in the following sentence?

The majority of employees threatened to resign in protest of the new dress code.

Example sentences from the Web for resign

British Dictionary definitions for resign (1 of 2)

/ (rɪˈzaɪn) /


(when intr , often foll by from) to give up tenure of (a job, office, etc)
(tr) to reconcile (oneself) to; yield to resign oneself to death
(tr) to give up (a right, claim, etc); relinquish he resigned his claim to the throne

Derived forms of resign

resigner, noun

Word Origin for resign

C14: from Old French resigner, from Latin resignāre to unseal, invalidate, destroy, from re- + signāre to seal; see sign

British Dictionary definitions for resign (2 of 2)

/ (riːˈsaɪn) /


to sign (a document, etc) again