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

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

Pompeo accused Cuba of reneging on promises to release them and other prisoners of conscience that date to the Obama administration and ignoring requests to even discuss them. Matthew Lee, The Seattle Times, "US demands answers from Cuba on imprisoned dissidents," 11 Dec. 2018 But doing so could open the door for Mr. Kim to accuse Mr. Trump of reneging on his promises. Motoko Rich, New York Times, "Trump-Kim Summit Creates New Anxieties for Asian Allies," 13 June 2018 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

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

31 Jan 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 , -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).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
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!