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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The news comes at a time when U.S.-Cuban relations have stiffened after President Trump’s reneging of Obama-era negotiations with the Caribbean nation. Wilder Davies, Time, "Expedia Fined $325,000 for Breaching Travel Sanctions to Cuba," 14 June 2019 After the landlords reneged on a promise to extend the lease through January 2020, according to the club operators, Mezzanine was set to permanently shutter Oct. 10. Dominic Fracassa,, "SF Supervisor steps in to save SoMa music venue," 13 June 2019 Meanwhile, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned that pulling out would undermine America’s upcoming nuclear talks with North Korea by proving the U.S. reneges on its promises. Time, "President Trump Brushes 'Dandruff' Off French President Macron’s Suit as the Two Leaders Tussle Over Iran," 25 Apr. 2018 So Trump effectively has several pathways to pull the United States out of the deal by reneging on its commitments. Josh Lederman, Fox News, "World to learn fate of Iran nuclear pact Tuesday afternoon," 8 May 2018 The German government is poised to renege on its pledge to raise military spending, the latest gesture of defiance by Chancellor Angela Merkel toward President Donald Trump. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "Germany Plans to Renege on Pledge to Raise Military Spending, Defying Trump," 18 Mar. 2019 And Trump’s successor might decide to renege on the deal and move troops back to South Korea. Andrew Kydd, Washington Post, "Promises on North Korea are easy to make but hard to keep. Here’s why.," 7 June 2018 Oh, and now Gov. Phil Murphy, who made his fortune at Goldman Sachs but seems to have learned nothing about financial incentives, wants to raise the sales tax back to 7%, reneging on Mr. Christie’s 2016 gas and sales tax swap. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Gas Tax Economics Lesson," 10 Sep. 2018 Brussels wants the framework agreement to ensure that Switzerland can’t renege on certain obligations, like free movement of people from the EU, without paying a broader price in terms of EU market access. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "Amid Brexit Drama, EU Flexes Its Muscles With Swiss," 1 Dec. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of renege

1548, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for renege

Medieval Latin renegare

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about renege

Statistics for renege

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for renege

The first known use of renege was in 1548

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for renege



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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on renege

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with renege

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for renege

Spanish Central: Translation of renege

Nglish: Translation of renege for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of renege for Arabic Speakers

Comments on renege

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


showing courage and determination

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Add Diction

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!