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

Definition of renounce

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

Other Words from renounce

renouncement \ ri-​ˈnau̇n(t)s-​mənt How to pronounce renounce (audio) \ 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 And other musicians Signerbusters has protested — pro-war pianist Boris Berezovsky and opera singer Anna Netrebko, who refused to renounce Putin — have been dropped by their agents. Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2022 What leaders can learn from this is the ability to renounce selectively. Ashwin Srivastava, Forbes, 18 Oct. 2021 For the next quarter-century Ortiz eluded several attempts on his life, refusing appeals from law enforcement to renounce his allegiance to an organization intent on killing him. Matthew Ormseth, Los Angeles Times, 5 Apr. 2022 Now Russia has invaded Ukraine -- and Belarus, which is allied with Moscow, plans to renounce its non-nuclear status and could theoretically allow Russia to bring nuclear weapons back into the country. Zachary B. Wolf, CNN, 28 Feb. 2022 According to the Associated Press, the men’s hockey players who are U.S. or Canadian citizens have not been asked to renounce their native citizenships, but Chinese law prohibits dual citizenship. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 10 Feb. 2022 In previous correspondence with Davis, Haggis had demanded that the church publicly renounce Proposition 8. Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker, 9 Aug. 2021 Russia's core demand remains that Ukraine renounce its ambition to join NATO. Bypatrick Reevell, ABC News, 24 Mar. 2022 There appears to be no requirement that elected members of Congress renounce their citizenship of other countries in order to attend classified briefings. Michael Warren, CNN, 16 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'renounce.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of renounce

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

History and Etymology for renounce

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

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

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Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Renounce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for renounce


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

Kids Definition of renounce

1 : to give up, abandon, or resign usually by a public declaration The queen renounced the throne.
2 : to refuse to follow, obey, or recognize any longer They renounced the goals of the organization.


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

Legal Definition of renounce

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

Nglish: Translation of renounce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of renounce for Arabic Speakers


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