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

Keep scrolling for more

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 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 If the government has obtained the land but hasn’t paid for it, the Biden administration could renounce its claims and return full possession to the previous owner. Washington Post, "Trump’s unfinished border wall faces uncertain future after Biden pledge to freeze construction," 1 Dec. 2020 In that agreement, the Taliban agreed to renounce al-Qaida and take other steps to enhance peace prospects, while the Trump administration agreed to reduce its troops — reaching a complete U.S. withdrawal by May 2021. Robert Burns,, "Top US general who spent years killing Taliban is now negotiating with them, face-to-face," 17 Dec. 2020 In exchange, the Taliban agreed to cease attacks on foreign troops and to renounce terrorism. The Economist, "Donald Trump risks handing Afghanistan to the Taliban," 21 Nov. 2020 To hand over all my art monster ambitions and renounce the often cruel bargain of personal stability for creative nobility? Sarah Menkedick, Longreads, "And Then We Grew Up," 10 Aug. 2020 The premier example of this is ethanol, a climate and policy disaster that Democrats have nonetheless refused to renounce. Charlie Mitchell, The New Republic, "Can Biden Keep His Promise to Make Farms Climate Friendly?," 16 Nov. 2020 Previously the law required foreigners to renounce other nationalities in order to get Russian citizenship. Fox News, "Snowden and his wife seek to be Russian-US dual nationals," 2 Nov. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about renounce

Time Traveler for renounce

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for renounce

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Renounce.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for renounce


How to pronounce renounce (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on renounce

What made you want to look up renounce? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!