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

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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 The Sussex siblings would either have to renounce their claims to a seat of foreign power or seek a special exemption from Congress. Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Prince Harry's children could run for president under certain conditions," 9 Mar. 2021 People trying to evade a two-cent tax would also have to renounce their citizenship to skip out on paying them. Erin Corbett,, "Elizabeth Warren Reminds Us: Billionaires Are Big Greedy Babies Who Won’t Really Leave America," 28 Jan. 2021 Six days before the Coyotes made the decision to renounce Mitchell, the hockey player, who attends the University of North Dakota, issued a statement through the team, which was sent to the Republic. Homero De La Fuente And Leah Asmelash, CNN, "NHL's Coyotes sever ties with top draft pick who admitted to bullying Black classmate with disabilities," 29 Oct. 2020 By Sunday, 10 companies had quit, including New England Treatment Access, the state’s largest marijuana operator and the first to renounce the association. Dan Adams,, "Pot dispensary trade group drops lawsuit against state after backlash," 25 Jan. 2021 Phipps, the Republican who’d tried for four years to persuade his conservative friends to renounce the president, had given up, too. Washington Post, "A small town seethes after learning one of its own joined the Capitol’s mob," 16 Jan. 2021 Senator Ivan Cepeda of the leftist Polo Democratico Alternativo party, a longtime supporter of the deal, fears a second Trump term could embolden the right-wing majority in the Colombian Congress to renounce the agreement. Jack Guy And Stefano Pozzebon, CNN, "Colombia's peace deal could hang on the US election," 29 Oct. 2020 In the finale, Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) is shown giving birth to the future Duke of Hastings (that is, unless Simon, played by Regé-Jean Page, finds a way to renounce the title completely before his death) with her husband by her side. Andrea Park, Marie Claire, "That Whirlwind 'Bridgerton' Ending, Explained," 30 Dec. 2020 Everyone on earth has to renounce their wish, meaning that she would be forced to live without Steve once again. Ineye Komonibo,, "Wonder Woman 1984 Marks The Surprising Return Of Your Favourite Comic Book Boyfriend," 29 Dec. 2020

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.

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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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Time Traveler for renounce

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for renounce

Last Updated

18 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Renounce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for renounce



English Language Learners Definition of renounce

: to say especially in a formal or official way that you will no longer have or accept (something) : to formally give up (something)
: to say in a formal or definite way that you refuse to follow, obey, or support (someone or something) any longer


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

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