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Renege vs rescind

To renege is to go back on a promise, to make a denial, or revoke something. It is pronounced many different ways. The first syllable may have the long or short sound. And the (nege) syllable can be /nehg/, /nahg/, or /nig/.

A person who reneges is a reneger.


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It is also used sometimes in board or card games when a player has broken the rules. In the game of euchre, you play cards by suit. If you play a card later, but should have played it earlier in the game, you reneged on the promise that you had no more of that suit.

Rescind is a verb that means to officially terminate something, like a law or contract. It may also mean to repeal or cancel. A person who rescinds is a rescinder. An uncommon noun form is rescindment.

The difference between the two is mostly that rescind is more formal and renege is looser. Therefore, rescind is found more often in written texts.

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Comments

  1. fishfarming says:

    I think it would also be worthwhile to mention that one tends to renege “on” something, whereas with “rescind,” one usually has a clear direct object (as in the examples above). I really enjoy following thee posts! Thank you.

  2. purple_platypus says:

    “The difference between the two is mostly that rescind is more formal and renege is looser.”

    This certainly is a difference between them, but I disagree that it is the most important one. I would be very insulted if someone claimed I had *reneged* on a deal when I had merely *rescinded* the offer to make that deal!

  3. You have to be careful who you call a reneger.

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