re·nounce | \ ri-ˈnau̇n(t)s \
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 \ noun
renouncer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for renounce


abjure, forswear (also foreswear), recant, renege, repeal, repudiate, retract, take back, unsay, withdraw


adhere (to)

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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 line to be the next emir of Qatar, Jassim had renounced the throne to focus on his true passion, soccer. Laurent Dubois, The Atlantic, "How Not to Scout for Soccer Talent," 14 June 2018 Then the state party endorsed Jessica Morse in February, forcing Gutowsky to choose between resigning her post leading the local party organization or renouncing her support for another Democrat, MIT Professor Regina Bateson. Emily Cadei, sacbee, "Democrats push for unity in California House races after bruising primary," 13 July 2018 It’s been previously reported that Noah Vonleh’s deal will be renounced. K.c. Johnson,, "Bulls rescind qualifying offer to David Nwaba, making him an unrestricted free agent," 12 July 2018 Prospero gives a final soliloquy at the end of The Tempest that has often been read as the coded words of Shakespeare himself renouncing the stage. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Puzzled by Westworld? Look to Shakespeare.," 26 June 2018 While appearing not to renounce unilateral action, in practice Mr Torra may seek to remain within the law. The Economist, "Catalonia’s new president is a secessionist, like the previous one," 17 May 2018 Caldwell-Pope had entered free agency late when the Detroit Pistons renounced their rights to him in mid-July. Tania Ganguli,, "What impact did Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have with the Lakers this season?," 12 Apr. 2018 As the hosts enter a kind of digital paradise that represents one option for their escape, the show renounces the human world itself in favor of nature’s glory. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Puzzled by Westworld? Look to Shakespeare.," 26 June 2018 Thomas renounced any claim to Washington’s home in 2008, about the time the Philadelphia district attorney launched a criminal investigation into the theft of houses involving a crooked notary. Mark Fazlollah,, "Police officer probed in theft of homes," 2 Dec. 2012

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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Statistics for renounce

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for renounce

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

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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 \
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 \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on renounce

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for renounce

Spanish Central: Translation of renounce

Nglish: Translation of renounce for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of renounce for Arabic Speakers

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