Simple Definition of renege
: to refuse to do something that you promised or agreed to do
Examples of renege in a sentence
They had promised to pay her tuition but later reneged.
<my so-called best friend promised to help me move, only to renege come Saturday morning>
Did You Know?
To renege on a bet is to refuse to pay up when you lose. To renege on a promise of marriage, or on a deal of any kind, is to pull out. History is full of promises and commitments and treaties that were reneged on, such as the many treaties with Native Americans that American settlers and the U.S. government went back on over a period of almost 300 years. A synonym is welsh ("He always welshes on his deals"); however, since that word may have come from Welsh, meaning a native of Wales in Britain, some people think it might be offensive.
Origin and Etymology of renege
Medieval Latin renegare
First Known Use: 1548
RENEGE Defined for Kids
Definition of renege for Students
: to go back on a promise or agreement
Word Root of renege
The Latin word negāre, meaning “to deny” or “to say no,” and its form negātus give us the root neg. Words from the Latin negāre have something to do with saying no. Anything negative, such as a reply to a question, denies something or responds by saying no. To renege is to go back on, or deny, an agreement or promise. Even the last letters of deny, to declare something to be false, come from negāre.
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