I have read several definitions of to resign, but it seems to sound that this word is used when someone quits early. For instance, Merriam Webster says that to resign means someone gives up ,the sense that I'm not looking for.

Suppose I have a work contract for a year and after that, I officially am not the employee of the company X anymore. In my opinion, when someone resigns, that implies the person has give up on their job and they quit early before the work contract ends. Meanwhile, the word that I'm looking for is a word that describes someone who isn't working anymore after ending their work contract, that also means the person doesn't give up on their job, they are willing to enjoy the job until the certain period and they, in fact, are happy with their job.

I'm thinking about to retire, but I don't think it's correct since, as far as I know, that word means to leave the world of work permanently.

Any thoughts?

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    After the year ends, you might say you "declined to renew the contract." This doesn't have the same connotations of "quitting early" that the word 'resign' conveys. Also, you can 'retire' from a specific job, as well as from working in general. In the former case, you'd usually make the "from" and "to" explicit to avoid exactly the kind of confusion you mentioned. For example: "Bob works at John Deere after having retired from the Navy." Jan 14 at 5:06
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    If I were describing what happened to somebody who left a company because their contract had finished I would just say that “their contract was up”, “they finished their contract”, or even just that they “left” or “finished”. Resign, retire, and quit don’t work unless they themselves chose not to renew their contract, in which case resign or quit would work fine. Jan 14 at 14:47

2 Answers 2


That single word may be hard to find; we can consider phrases formed with discharge:

He has discharged his contract.


He is currently not working as he has discharged his (last or previous) contract.

When a contract ends because all of the parties to the agreement have performed or completed all of their contractually stipulated duties and obligations as negotiated, it is usually said that the contract has been discharged.


Consult a thesaurus, rather than just a dictionary, to find synonyms. For example, Thesaurus.com lists the following which might be used: forgo, leave, quit, relinquish, renounce, terminate, etc.

  • "Next year, I'll forgo work on that contract."
  • "Though I enjoyed that assignment, I've terminated that work due to time conflicts."

You can probably find better choices online, and there are sources for writing a termination letter, q.v., though many will be from the point of view of the employer.

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