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.


    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.


    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 I would be very insulted if someone claimed I had *reneged* on a deal when I had merely *rescinded* the offer to make that deal!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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