derelict

If something has been abandoned, you can call it derelict. Even if a person has abandoned his responsibilities, you can say that he is derelict in his duties. But don't call a lost child derelict — unless, of course, he has neglected his chores.

As an adjective, derelict describes something that is rundown, neglected, or in deplorable condition, but the word can also mean "negligent in duty." The politician was so busy using his office for personal gain that he was derelict in his duty to the people who voted for him; he hadn't been present at a vote in months. As a noun, a derelict means a homeless person.

Definitions of derelict
1

n a person without a home, job, or property

Type of:
pauper
a person who is very poor

n a ship abandoned on the high seas

Synonyms:
abandoned ship
Type of:
ship
a vessel that carries passengers or freight

adj worn and broken down by hard use

Synonyms:
creaky, decrepit, flea-bitten, run-down, woebegone
worn
affected by wear; damaged by long use

adj in deplorable condition

Synonyms:
bedraggled, broken-down, dilapidated, ramshackle, tatterdemalion, tumble-down
damaged
harmed or injured or spoiled

adj failing in what duty requires

Synonyms:
delinquent, neglectful, remiss
negligent
characterized by neglect and undue lack of concern

adj forsaken by owner or inhabitants

Synonyms:
abandoned, deserted
uninhabited
not having inhabitants; not lived in

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a life-long learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.