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[ri-nig, -neg, -neeg]
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verb (used without object), re·neged, re·neg·ing.
  1. Cards. to play a card that is not of the suit led when one can follow suit; break a rule of play.
  2. to go back on one's word: He has reneged on his promise.
verb (used with object), re·neged, re·neg·ing.
  1. Archaic. to deny; disown; renounce.
  1. Cards. an act or instance of reneging.

Origin of renege

1540–50; earlier renegue < Medieval Latin renegāre, equivalent to re- re- + negāre to deny (cf. negative)
Related formsre·neg·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for renege



  1. (intr often foll by on) to go back (on one's promise, etc)
verb, noun
  1. cards other words for revoke
Derived Formsreneger or reneguer, noun

Word Origin

C16 (in the sense: to deny, renounce): from Medieval Latin renegāre to renounce; see renegade
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for renege


1540s, "deny, renounce, abandon," from Medieval Latin renegare, from Latin re-, here probably an intensive prefix, + negare "deny" (see deny). Meaning "change one's mind" is from 1784. Related: Reneged; reneging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper