Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Abdication

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ABDICATION, the relinquishment of an office, and particularly the throne, without a formal resignation. It differs from resignation, which is applied to the giving back by a person into the hands of a superior an office to which that superior appointed him; while in abdication one, theoretically without an earthly superior in the country, relinquishes what came to him at first by act of law.