re·​nege | \ ri-ˈneg How to pronounce renege (audio) also -ˈnāg, -ˈnig; rē- How to pronounce renege (audio) \
reneged; reneging

Definition of renege

intransitive verb

1 : to go back on a promise or commitment
2 : revoke
3 obsolete : to make a denial

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Other Words from renege

reneger noun

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
Recent Examples on the Web Those controls could mean that the government would require Pfizer to prioritize the U.S. over other nations and perhaps renege on supply contracts across the world, say legal scholars. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, "Pfizer, Trump, and Biden: A twisted triangle that’s complicating COVID-19 relief," 19 Dec. 2020 The Johnson government recently introduced legislation giving it the power to renege on parts of its withdrawal agreement with the European Union that deal with Northern Ireland. New York Times, "In Last-Ditch Bid for Brexit Deal, Leaders’ Theatrics Show the Stakes," 6 Dec. 2020 Before the price cuts, De Beers had made major concessions to its normal sales rules -- allowing customers to renege on contracts and view diamonds in alternative locations. Thomas Biesheuvel,, "De Beers Cuts Prices for Smaller Diamonds," 22 Sep. 2020 Overseas Adventure Travel can't renege on its refund offer. Christopher Elliott, Star Tribune, "Travel Troubleshooter: Our Greece and Turkey tour was rebooked for 2021, but we don't want to go now," 11 Dec. 2020 On Monday, the Johnson government brought back to the House of Commons a bill that would renege on parts of its withdrawal agreement with Brussels that relate to Northern Ireland — a reversal that has infuriated many European officials. New York Times, "As Brexit Deadline Looms, Boris Johnson Takes Personal Control of Talks," 7 Dec. 2020 Though Bettman said the league is not attempting to renegotiate the CBA, the players and several agents have accused the NHL of attempting to renege on what was agreed to in July. John Wawrow,, "NHL reportedly is now focusing on mid-January to start the new season, pushing back the league’s hope to begin on New Year’s Day," 4 Dec. 2020 And Universal, which just signed deals with two of the world’s biggest theater chains to shorten the amount of time movies play in theaters before they can be rented at home, likely won’t want to suddenly renege on those historic negotiations. Adam Epstein, Quartz, "How many studios will follow Warner’s direct-to-streaming strategy in 2021?," 4 Dec. 2020 To renege on that promise would violate their rights. Steve Chapman,, "Column: Trump’s crazy Electoral College scheme is doomed," 13 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'renege.' 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 renege

1548, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for renege

Medieval Latin renegare

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Time Traveler for renege

Time Traveler

The first known use of renege was in 1548

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Statistics for renege

Last Updated

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Renege.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for renege


How to pronounce renege (audio) How to pronounce renege (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of renege

: to refuse to do something that you promised or agreed to do


re·​nege | \ ri-ˈnig How to pronounce renege (audio) , -ˈneg \
reneged; reneging

Kids Definition of renege

: to go back on a promise or agreement

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Comments on renege

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