ren·​e·​gade | \ ˈre-ni-ˌgād How to pronounce renegade (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for renegade

Synonyms: Noun

apostate, defector, deserter, recreant

Antonyms: Noun


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of renegade in a Sentence


The group was full of free spirits and renegades who challenged every assumption of what art should be. She regaled him with stories about pirates and renegades on the high seas.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Moscow, Washington and a CIA analyst track a renegade Soviet captain and his new submarine. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 1 - 7, 2019: John Wayne in ‘The Searchers’ and more," 30 Aug. 2019 Kinzer’s antihero is Sidney Gottlieb, a renegade chemist who oversaw the MK-ULTRA program. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "Are Spies More Trouble Than They’re Worth?," 26 Aug. 2019 Same for a renegade doctor, or teacher, or most other officials. James Fallows, The Atlantic, "On Trump and Queeg: A Followup," 25 Aug. 2019 There are close connections between Hong Kong and Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing regards as a renegade province. Time Staff, Time, "'A Platform for Dialogue.' Hong Kong's Leader Promises to Listen to a Community Torn Apart by Protest," 20 Aug. 2019 Now, will the voters who elected the renegade congressman to five consecutive double-digit victories desert him? Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "How Justin Amash's July 4 bombshell is igniting political fireworks," 7 July 2019 At the last minute, the renegade star called an audible, sent his band home and performed a nonstop medley of 17 of his most iconic songs. Nancy Kruh,, "Odd Couple or Dynamic Duo? See for Yourself as Carrie Underwood and Joan Jett Rock Out at CMA Fest," 3 Aug. 2019 During the inspection, a renegade group of nine Santa Maria cattle stayed hidden in the thorny brush. John Maccormack,, "Deadly fever ticks are infesting border cattle herds," 2 Aug. 2019 Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, an icon of genre fiction perhaps best known to general audiences for his portrayal of renegade android Roy Batty in Ridley Scott’s 1982 cult classic Blade Runner, died on Friday. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Rutger Hauer, genre actor and Blade Runner icon, has died at 75," 24 July 2019

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

As governor of Jamaica, buccaneer Henry Morgan sends a swashbuckler to capture renegade pirates. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 1 - 7, 2019: John Wayne in ‘The Searchers’ and more," 30 Aug. 2019 Bubble tea, a sweet beverage that can be milky or fruity, originated in Taiwan, a region the government in Beijing considers a renegade province. Naomi Xu Elegant, Fortune, "How Hong Kong’s Protests Are Roiling the World’s Booming Bubble Tea Market," 22 Aug. 2019 An Air Force pilot matches wits with a renegade colleague who is threatening to detonate a pair of nuclear warheads. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 The program burst into the international spotlight in 2013, when renegade NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked information on U.S. surveillance techniques. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "NSA improperly collected US phone call data after saying problem was fixed," 26 June 2019 China, which considers Taiwan a renegade province, has strongly denounced the U.S. Navy’s presence there. Sam Walker, WSJ, "In Menacing Seas, the Navy Relies on ‘Battle Rhythm’," 15 June 2019 In fact Davis, the architect of Oakland’s runaway success and renegade image during its classic rock (’60s, ’70s and ’80s) era, was not yet affiliated with the Raiders the last time they were spanked this harshly. John Walters, Newsweek, "Raiders of the Lost Art of Winning: Will Jim Harbaugh Be Their Indiana Jones?," 5 Dec. 2014 One incident in 2014 left its walls painted blue and plastered with bizarre renegade art fly posters. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Prada Makes an Unlikely Cameo on The Simpsons," 11 Jan. 2019 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about renegade

Dictionary Entries near renegade








Statistics for renegade

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for renegade

The first known use of renegade was circa 1611

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce renegade (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


readily or continually undergoing change

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!