re·​nege | \ ri-ˈneg also -ˈnāg, -ˈnig; rē- \
reneged; reneging

Definition of renege

intransitive verb

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

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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

The Murdochs believed Comcast reneged on a handshake deal, people familiar with the situation say. Keach Hagey, WSJ, "Two Titans’ Rocky Relationship Stands Between Comcast and Fox," 21 June 2018 The bad blood between the old allies appears to stem at least partly from Baugh’s belief that the congressman reneged on plans to retire at the end of the current term. Washington Post, "Republicans turn on each other in California US House fight," 29 May 2018 The basic formula for a deal has existed for decades, but North Korea has reneged on past nonproliferation agreements. NBC News, "Trump turns up the heat on Kim while lowering expectations for a deal," 11 June 2018 Even if a deal is reached, the regime has reneged on previous commitments to denuclearize. Time, "Are North Korea Nuclear Negotiations Hitting a Dead End?," 22 May 2018 Chris Metcalf, publisher of the left-leaning Reasonable People Unite, compares the overnight disappearance of his account to an assault on free speech, rather than the company realizing its oft-reneged upon promise to stamp out fake news. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Facebook's Fake News Problem Isn't Russian Anymore—It's Homegrown," 12 Oct. 2018 Governor Charlie Baker — who has campaigned on opposing new taxes or fees — said his decision last week to sign sweeping legislation that includes a new $800 million payroll tax does not renege on that promise. Matt Stout,, "New payroll tax different ‘than just raising taxes,’ Baker says," 30 June 2018 But Evergrande reneged on the deal, lawyers for Faraday Future claim, which is why — exhausted of cash and facing layoffs — the startup eventually brought the emergency arbitration case in Hong Kong. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Faraday Future says its main investor is ‘deliberately starving’ it into bankruptcy," 9 Nov. 2018 So why is Sony reneging on that 11-year-old packaging promise for Warhawk? Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Sony keeping Warhawk, other PS3 game servers live through January [Updated]," 2 Nov. 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.

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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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Statistics for renege

Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for renege

The first known use of renege was in 1548

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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, -ˈneg\
reneged; reneging

Kids Definition of renege

: to go back on a promise or agreement

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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).


to gather or build up little by little

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