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n. something or someone who is abandoned, such as a ship left to drift at sea or a homeless person ignored by family and society.

(See: abandon, dereliction)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

DERELICT, common law. This term is applied in the common law in a different sense from what it bears in the civil law. In the former it is applied to lands left by the sea.
     2. When so left by degrees the derelict land belongs to the owner of the soil adjoining but when the sea retires suddenly, it belongs to the government. 2 Bl. Com. 262 1 Bro. Civ. Law, 239; 1 Sumn. 328, 490 1 Gallis. 138; Bee, R. 62, 178, 260; Ware, R. 332.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
WHAT is David Kirwan doing, referring to New Brighton''s Dips as derelict? (Daily Post Letters, December 1).
Police said they were alerted to a fire at a row of derelict houses on Jamaica Street at around 5pm on Monday.
If O'Doherty was right, the walls of the white cube behave like a membrane through which, for example, aesthetic and commercial values enact an "osmotic exchange." Dia:Beacon inevitably possesses the double identity of a found space and a placeless one; its transaction, which occurs between the abandoned shed and the disembodied preserve, presupposes the loomings and leavings of the vast derelict interior and the necessary paradox (as we move beyond the shed to the desert, the crater, and The Lightning Field) of an uncollectible art.
The amount of vacant and derelict land in Scotland fell by more than four per cent last year, according to figures produced by the Scottish Office.
Hawthorn Leslie's shipyard in Hebburn closed in 1982, was sold to Cammell Laird and then acquired by A&P Group in 2001, but it now lies derelict.
Planners said: "The proposal would bring a derelict site, located in a prominent position in West Rhyl back into use, and would support and strengthen adjacent retail and tourism priority investment areas.
derelict Bernard Peter Whitecross, watch manager at Stockton fire station, said the home was due for demolition.
The entire two-storey derelict factory was destroyed and four fire fighters in breathing gear fought the fire.
A COMPANY planning to develop a derelict brickworks wants to hear the public's views.
RESIDENTS suffering anti-social behaviour at a derelict school are petitioning to have the building demolished.
Our dedicated Eco-council has been helping to transform the once derelict school garden into a haven for the pupils of Bill Quay Primary.