e.g. I x my responsibility of self-defence to the state.

  • 2
    I voted up two answers below - I would note that your question could be improved to suggest which answer would be better for your purpose. If you "pass" responsibility it can mean a few things. If you mean "assign" to another entity you might chose "delegate" where if you mean "give up" you might chose cede. (and for that matter, 'assign' and 'give up' are other alternatives yet less exclusively tied to responsibility)
    – Tom22
    Mar 28, 2018 at 1:12
  • @Tom22 ~ Thank you. However, I do believe delegate may be appropriate for "pass". Are you thinking of "pass off", perhaps?
    – Bread
    Mar 28, 2018 at 1:21
  • 1
    @Bread .. I agree that 'pass' in the title would fit more with "delegate" however the example of self-defense has it's own quirks to it when coupled with 'pass'. All in all the word "responsibility" does point more to delegate too - vs "right" or "ownership" or "interests" which fit more naturally with 'cede' .. but all could use more from the OP in terms of intent
    – Tom22
    Mar 28, 2018 at 1:28
  • It should be noted that "passing the buck" is an idiom suggesting the "delegation" of responsibility for an action that did not have a positive effect. Doesn't fit the stated example very well, though.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 28, 2018 at 1:52
  • Actually you put my answer in your question: defer. I will no longer answer questions on this site due to what I perceive to be harassment by mods. Apr 22, 2023 at 5:02

6 Answers 6


Delegate: verb (with object) entrust (a task or responsibility) to another person, typically one who is less senior than oneself.

  • She must delegate duties so as to free herself for more important tasks.

  • The power delegated to him must never be misused.

  • I delegate my responsibility of self-defence to the state.


cede (sēd) TFD

To surrender possession of, especially by treaty. See Synonyms at relinquish. To yield; grant:

As in:

I cede my responsibility of self-defence to the state.


I entrust my responsibility of self-defence to the state.

entrust - verb - "If you entrust something important to someone or entrust them with it, you make them responsible for looking after it or dealing with it."

Example sentences from the web:

  • I'll entrust the job to you.
  • To your care I entrust the book, the embroidery frame, and the letter upon which I had begun.
  • People entrust their money to others, who accept the responsibility to deal with it according to the terms agreed.
  • He will entrust more responsibilities in your hands and elevate you to your proper status.


transfer (power) to a lower level, especially from central government to local or regional administration.


give an assignment to (a person) to a post, or assign a task to (a person)

Example sentences:

  1. Measures to devolve power to a Scottish assembly
  2. The representative devolved his duties to his aides while he was in the hospital
  3. The U.S. government could devolve a certain responsibility to the states

I relinquish my responsibility of self-defense to the state.

3b : to give over possession or control of : yield - few leaders willingly relinquish power.

"Relinquish." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 19 Aug. 2018.

Delegate tends to imply that you have the authority to insist that the delegatee accepts the delegation. It's an offer they can't refuse.

Entrust focuses on the recipient and the thing recieved. This is slightly awkward here because it wouldn't then be self-defense, would it?

Relinquish focuses on the turning over or giving up. I think it works better in this particular case.

Forgo also has the correct sense, but you can't forgo something to some one.

Forsake suggests a totality of abandonment that probably isn't wanted here.

If you take the position that the state legislates the rules and is the one who decides where the responsibility lay, the entire sentence is a bit off. It is the state that causes you to forgo this responsibility. But this can be a matter of degree, and if you are electing to take the fullest advantage of their protection, I think you are choosing to relinquish what discretionary responsibility exists.



E.g. She was delegated to do the job.

  • This answer has already been given.
    – fev
    Jun 9, 2021 at 8:06

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