ren·​e·​gade | \ ˈre-ni-ˌgād \

Definition of renegade

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a deserter from one faith, cause, or allegiance to another
2 : an individual who rejects lawful or conventional behavior


renegaded; renegading

Definition of renegade (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to become a renegade



Definition of renegade (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : having deserted a faith, cause, or religion for a hostile one
2 : having rejected tradition : unconventional

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Synonyms & Antonyms for renegade

Synonyms: Noun

apostate, defector, deserter, recreant

Antonyms: Noun


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Examples of renegade in a Sentence


renegades from the Republican Party stories about pirates and renegades on the high seas

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The near-unanimity of support for the agreement (and the flood of NDCs) left holdouts and renegades — of which international climate negotiations has always had its share — few places to hide. David Roberts, Vox, "The “Trump effect” threatens the future of the Paris climate agreement," 3 Dec. 2018 Just in time for holiday shopping: a biography of the fascinating Josephine Baker, a radio host turned underground renegade and more. Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times, "Paperback Picks: books by Kevin Kwan, Bill McKibben and Sherry Jones," 12 Dec. 2018 An alliance in the State Senate between Republicans and a renegade of group of Democrats known as the Independent Democratic Conference was formed during Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s first week in office. Shane Goldmacher, New York Times, "Democrats in New York State Senate Reconcile After Years of Infighting," 4 Apr. 2018 The renegade designer Demna Gvasalia continued his sleight of hand at Balenciaga, combining elements from the brand’s past (like architectural waistlines) with technical fabrics. Rory Satran, WSJ, "Next Year’s Most Wearable Women’s Trends," 5 Oct. 2018 Thirty-one Republicans control the 63-seat chamber through an alliance with a renegade Democrat. WSJ, "New York Gov. Cuomo Easily Wins Re-Election," 6 Nov. 2018 The group of renegade Democrats struck a deal with Republicans, denying Democrats full control of the chamber. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The primary defeat of New York’s “independent Democrats,” explained," 14 Sep. 2018 Having a renegade like Boyle under employ promises the potential for something wildly different from Bond producers, Eon Productions. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Is There Anything Left for Daniel Craig to Do as James Bond?," 16 Mar. 2018 The Wild West is, after all, always portrayed as a land of renegades and outlaws; in the British Raj, the fundamental structures designed to prop up the (white, British) guests are melting down. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "Westworld: Ride the Tiger," 6 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Groark was persuaded to join Lowell P. Weicker Jr.’s renegade A Connecticut Party in 1990 and served one term as lieutenant governor before launching a losing bid for governor in 1994. Matthew Kauffman,, "Former Lt. Gov. Eunice Groark Dies at 80," 9 May 2018 Reporters are notoriously averse to collective action and their employers are notoriously averse to renegade employees. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "The White House Press, Like Other D.C. Institutions, Is Broken," 19 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

When your mother is Madonna, a renegade spirit runs through your blood by default. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Lourdes Leon Is Shattering Beauty Stereotypes With Body Hair—Just Like Her Famous Mother," 6 Nov. 2018 From the punkish bowl cuts to the jagged baby bangs framed by waist-grazing waves, Palau was inspired by renegade women of the ‘60s and ’70s. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "This Rising Model Just Chopped Off All Her Hair to Look Like a Bad Girl Movie Heroine," 2 Oct. 2018 This new approach is based on the premise that our modern lifestyles — along with environmental assaults from infectious pathogens and toxins — are as much to blame for Alzheimer’s as renegade genes or plaques. Linda Marsa, Discover Magazine, "A New Treatment for Alzheimer's? It Starts With Lifestyle," 16 Nov. 2018 This is not the first time that an actor's face has been digitally inserted into a Star Wars film, though this instance is a bit more renegade than the appearances of Grand Moff Tarkin or Princess Leia in Rogue One. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Here's Harrison Ford Starring in 'Solo' Thanks to Deepfakes," 17 Oct. 2018 But that may further complicate an already messy fight that has unfolded within House Republican ranks since a band of renegade GOP moderates launched an effort to circumvent their leadership and force votes on immigration bills. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: The Democratic establishment strikes back in California, New Jersey and other primaries," 6 June 2018 The island transitioned to its own democratic political system in the 1980s and is considered by Beijing to be a renegade province. Suyin Haynes / Taipei, Time, "One Year on From His Death, Taiwan Remembers Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo," 13 July 2018 But every year there are renegade fireworks in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and lots of other cities that don’t want them., "Last Word: Too many bombs bursting in air," 6 July 2018 But a group of renegade Republican moderates are unwilling to wait. Mike Debonis And Seung Min Kim,, "GOP moderates push immigration debate as White House and Ryan reopen talks," 17 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'renegade.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of renegade


circa 1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1611, in the meaning defined above


1636, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for renegade


Spanish renegado, from Medieval Latin renegatus, from past participle of renegare to deny, from Latin re- + negare to deny — more at negate

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Statistics for renegade

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for renegade

The first known use of renegade was circa 1611

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More Definitions for renegade



English Language Learners Definition of renegade

: a person who leaves one group, religion, etc., and joins another that opposes it

: someone or something that causes trouble and cannot be controlled


ren·​e·​gade | \ ˈre-ni-ˌgād \

Kids Definition of renegade

1 : a person who deserts a faith, cause, or party
2 : a person who does not obey rules “They were renegades who thought they had permission to steal from the rich …”— Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising

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More from Merriam-Webster on renegade

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with renegade

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for renegade

Spanish Central: Translation of renegade

Nglish: Translation of renegade for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of renegade for Arabic Speakers

Comments on renegade

What made you want to look up renegade? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to gather or build up little by little

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