Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE ( (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2013. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

Subscriber: null; date: 10 December 2018


Pocket Fowler's Modern English Usage
Robert AllenRobert Allen

abjure, adjure. 

Abjure means ‘to renounce on oath’

(He had abjured, he thought, all superstitions—Iris Murdoch, 1985)

and to abjure one's country (or realm) is to swear to abandon it for ever. It is also used in the weakened sense ‘to renounce’

(Are faculty members willing to abjure e-mail in communicating with their students and colleagues?—The Nation, 2002 [OEC]).

By contrast, adjure means ‘to request earnestly’ with or (now) more frequently without an oath (They were all talking at once, adjuring each other to have fresh cups of tea). Neither word is in everyday use, but they are found in literature and can cause confusion when wrongly used.