renounce

verb

re·​nounce ri-ˈnau̇n(t)s How to pronounce renounce (audio)
renounced; renouncing

transitive verb

1
: to give up, refuse, or resign usually by formal declaration
renounce his errors
2
: to refuse to follow, obey, or recognize any further : repudiate
renounce the authority of the church

intransitive verb

1
: to make a renunciation
2
: to fail to follow suit in a card game
renouncement noun
renouncer noun
Choose the Right Synonym for renounce

abdicate, renounce, resign mean to give up a position with no possibility of resuming it.

abdicate implies a giving up of sovereign power or sometimes an evading of responsibility such as that of a parent.

abdicated the throne

renounce may replace it but often implies additionally a sacrifice for a greater end.

renounced her inheritance by marrying a commoner

resign applies to the giving up of an unexpired office or trust.

resigned from the board

abjure, renounce, forswear, recant, retract mean to withdraw one's word or professed belief.

abjure implies a firm and final rejecting or abandoning often made under oath.

abjured the errors of his former faith

renounce may carry the meaning of disclaim or disown.

renounced abstract art and turned to portrait painting

forswear may add an implication of perjury or betrayal.

I cannot forswear my principles

recant stresses the withdrawing or denying of something professed or taught.

if they recant they will be spared

retract applies to the withdrawing of a promise, an offer, or an accusation.

the newspaper had to retract the story

Examples of renounce in a Sentence

Many of his former supporters have renounced him. He renounced his old way of life.
Recent Examples on the Web The Administration must believe, still, that the better play is to try to figure out a way to work, rather than call out, renounce, or create an open breach, with Israel. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 2 Apr. 2024 In his later years, Wallace would renounce his racist beliefs, offering public apologies and asking Black Americans for forgiveness. Ellen Wexler, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Mar. 2024 He is brought to his knees and pressured to renounce his beliefs. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 21 Mar. 2024 About half of Salisbury Beach properties have been owned by the same families since the period from the 1950s to the 1970s, and those owners are loath to renounce their ocean views, Mr. Saab said. Lola Fadulu, New York Times, 15 Mar. 2024 The fans, the media, and the team need to renounce all worry about the macro implications of winning or losing Wednesday’s game against the Bucks or Thursday’s with the Bulls. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, 6 Mar. 2024 Palestinian leaders will have to be empowered who do not have Israeli blood on their hands, willing to renounce the cult of martyrdom destroying their society, but also with ironically enough anti-Israel credentials to have the credibility to negotiate. TIME, 20 Feb. 2024 The applicant must expressly renounce the title in a public ceremony and USCIS must record the renunciation as part of the proceedings. Stephanie Petit, Peoplemag, 21 Feb. 2024 Protestors marched on city hall to confront the mayor, who renounced segregation. USA TODAY, 20 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'renounce.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Anglo-French renuncer, from Latin renuntiare, from re- + nuntiare to report, from nuntius messenger

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of renounce was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near renounce

Cite this Entry

“Renounce.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/renounce. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

renounce

verb
re·​nounce ri-ˈnau̇n(t)s How to pronounce renounce (audio)
renounced; renouncing
1
: to give up, refuse, or resign usually by public declaration
renounced the throne
2
: to refuse to follow, obey, or recognize any further : repudiate
renounced the authority of her political party
renouncement noun
renouncer noun

Legal Definition

renounce

verb
re·​nounce ri-ˈnau̇ns How to pronounce renounce (audio)
renounced; renouncing

transitive verb

1
: to announce one's abandonment or giving up of a right to or interest in : disclaim sense 1
renounce an inheritance
2
: to refuse to follow, obey, or recognize any further
renounce allegiance to one's country

intransitive verb

: to make a renunciation

More from Merriam-Webster on renounce

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