DERELICT (from Lat. derelinquere, to forsake), in law, property thrown away or abandoned by the owner in such a manner as to indicate that he intends to make no further claim to it. The word is used more particularly with respect to property abandoned at sea (see Wreck), but it is also applied in other senses; for example, land gained from the sea by receding of the water is termed dereliction. Land gained gradually and slowly by dereliction belongs to the owner of the adjoining land, but in the case of sudden or considerable dereliction the land belongs to the Crown. This technical use of the term "dereliction" is to be distinguished from the more general modern sense, dereliction or abandonment of duty, which implies a culpable failure or neglect in moral or legal obligation.
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