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

Japan has also remained the most skeptical about North Korea’s motives, reminding the United States that the North has previously signed and then reneged on nuclear deals. New York Times, "Trump’s On-Again, Off-Again Summit Style Unnerves Asian Allies," 25 May 2018 An agreement to release tax returns has become a transparency test for Democratic candidates at a time when President Donald J. Trump has reneged on his promise early in his 2016 campaign to release his returns. Michael Dresser,, "Democrats running for Maryland governor split on releasing tax returns," 9 June 2018 Although there is no crime in our country, our prison system is mostly filled with Americans who attended a cookout, played spades and reneged. Michael Harriot, The Root, "The Visitor’s Guide to Cookouts in Wakanda," 27 Mar. 2018 The biggest threat may be that by reneging on the peace accord the next president could wreck any chance of reaching a deal with the ELN, which is negotiating with the government. The Economist, "Will Colombia’s next president imperil the peace deal with the FARC?," 26 May 2018 Polanski, who served 42 days in Chino State Prison in 1977, has long contended that the judge in his case engaged in misconduct by reneging on the terms of his plea deal and that he should be allowed to return to America on time served. Josh Rottenberg,, "Roman Polanski threatens lawsuit against motion picture academy over expulsion," 8 May 2018 Education activists have accused Mrs. DeVos of reneging on a promise to involve educators and other school-safety experts. WSJ, "Congress Plans to Allow Gun-Violence Research," 21 Mar. 2018 Asked if the administration's reneging on one deal might discourage North Korea from trusting the Americans to stick to an agreement, a senior State Department official traveling with Pompeo said that was not the case. Tracy Wilkinson,, "Pompeo makes surprise trip to North Korea to finish plans for Trump-Kim summit," 8 May 2018 Trump has bewildered the Europeans by threatening to slap tariffs on EU steel and aluminum exports and reneging on an agreement to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, which the E.U. believes is vital to world security. NBC News, "'With friends like Trump, who needs enemies?' E.U. chief Tusk asks," 17 May 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

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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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Comments on renege

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