Derelict

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derelict

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 classic literature ?
9 August.--The sequel to the strange arrival of the derelict in the storm last night is almost more startling than the thing itself.
The derelict's forehead is punched in, starred across, and rent diagonally.
There is some talk overhead of "coming round to tea on Friday," a brief report of the derelict's fate, and Tim volunteers as he descends: "For an A.
We ask ourselves if that derelict could ever have held goodly merchandise or served a high emprize, co-operated in some defence, held up the trappings of a throne, or borne away the corpse of a monarchy.
Instead, he reloaded his revolver very carefully, and then sat in the best room of the cottage by the derelict brickfield, looking anxious and perplexed, and listening to talk about Bill and his ways, and thinking, thinking.