from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To fail to carry out a promise or commitment: reneged on the contract at the last minute.
  • intransitive v. Games To fail to follow suit in cards when able and required by the rules to do so.
  • transitive v. To renounce; disown.
  • n. The act of reneging.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To break a promise or commitment; to go back on one's word.
  • v. In a card game, to break one's commitment to follow suit when capable.
  • v. (archaic) To deny; to renounce

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To deny.
  • intransitive v. To fail to keep (a commitment or promise); -- often used with on.
  • intransitive v. To revoke; to play a card that cannot legally be played according to the rules.
  • transitive v. To deny; to disown.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To deny; disown; renounce.
  • To deny.
  • In card-playing, to play a card that is not of the suit led (as is allowable in some games); also, by extension, to revoke. Also renig.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. fail to fulfill a promise or obligation
  • n. the mistake of not following suit when able to do so


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Medieval Latin renegāre, to deny; see renegade.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin renego, from nego ("deny"). Possibly influenced by renegotiate. See also renegade.


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  • Mr. Cuomo said the New Orleans-based company agreed not to "renege" on its contract to pay $432 million to the New York Power Authority over the length of the revenue-sharing agreement, which runs through 2014.

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  • The government fears that Pfizer will "renege" on this undertaking, he said.

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  • Dictionaries state that "renege" means to go back on one's word and that "reneger" is the noun form of the word.

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  • I mean, didn't you kind of renege on the agreement here?

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  • The colleague, a friend, told me he had been advised that "renege" was off-limits, especially in conversations involving African-Americans, because it suggested the outdated term "Negro." -

  • The headline on the Republican Jewish Coalition's press release today [April 14, 2009] calls on President Obama to stop the "equivocating and flip-flopping" on the Durban II conference, and the release expresses concern that the president might "renege" on his promised boycott of the conference.

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  • No, "renege" doesn't mean what you think it means.


  • The charity said the Budget could include cuts of up to £860 million a year in aid spending, with ministers citing the economic downturn as an excuse to "renege" on aid commitments.


  • "renege" on the plea agreement because judges aren't bound by plea agreements.

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