Definition of renegade in English:



  • 1A person who deserts and betrays an organization, country, or set of principles.

    ‘an agent who later turns out to be a renegade’
    • ‘The renegades, aptly named the Wolves, were formed when, having deserted their battalions for unknown reasons, they met in a gully off the coast somewhere below Twofold Bay.’
    • ‘He didn't want a band of renegades looking to make trouble near his family.’
    • ‘Because of fuel thieves and pipeline saboteurs, pump stations had to conduct frequent patrols, especially at night when the Iraqi renegades would hide under the cover of darkness.’
    • ‘Euthanasia advocates in the US yesterday said her assisted suicide was facilitated by renegades prepared to operate outside the law for money.’
    • ‘He must understand that the threat posed by police involvement in organised crime extends far beyond a public relations problem, and must make good on his promise to take firm action against the renegades under his command.’
    • ‘The expansion of Anglo-Norman lords in Ireland took place through alliances with Irishmen whom it is anachronistic to label renegades or traitors.’
    • ‘Today, growing fears that military renegades may have hatched a conspiracy to attempt to aid the enemy.’
    • ‘David Morse, as an American engineer, faces horrific conditions after being kidnapped by Colombian renegades.’
    • ‘There is no proof that it was us who attacked your home… they were renegades.’
    • ‘As was the custom after a successful major raid, the renegades had a celebration involving singing, dancing, giving out names to those who had earned them, and, of course, drinking.’
    • ‘The thesis was simple: only a small minority of renegades had acted against their own nation.’
    • ‘By courier, winged messenger and hand-scroll, the spies among the renegades had informed him of their movements toward his walled capital.’
    • ‘I think it is an unfortunate fact that we are faced with a small band of renegades who are professional killers and who will continue to try to attack us to effectively roll back the tide of history.’
    • ‘Let India reclaim itself from the criminals and outlaws, reprobates and renegades.’
    • ‘This voice, of course, was not heard, and they were branded as renegades to the cause of liberty.’
    • ‘There have been renegades for many years in the IRA, splinter groups and the like.’
    • ‘This is the first time there was a significant capture of renegades.’
    • ‘And in The Last Samurai, our most American-as-apple-pie actor, Tom Cruise, falls in love with Japanese warrior ways and becomes a renegade from the American army.’
    • ‘I suppose I forgot to mention it, but as a rule we don't allow renegades to partake in raids on the houses they used to belong to.’
    • ‘You are to capture these four renegades and bring them to me alive.’
    traitor, defector, deserter, turncoat, betrayer
    rebel, mutineer
    quisling, fifth columnist
    renegado, tergiversator
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    1. 1.1archaic A person who abandons religion; an apostate.
      ‘renegades and Deserters of Heaven, who renounce their God for the Favour of Man’
      • ‘These renegades have rebelled against and rejected Heaven and His life, so they must in turn be denied life.’
    2. 1.2A person who behaves in a rebelliously unconventional manner.
      ‘he was a renegade and social malcontent’
      • ‘Does our new TV image now exclude the drag queen heroes and social renegades who gave rise to the Stonewall revolution?’
      • ‘In 1970, when I first started rock climbing, I thought it was a sport for renegades and eccentrics, maybe like tree climbing is today.’
      • ‘The ‘fourth wall’ of performance means about as much to these devil-may-care renegades as the no-white-after-Labour-Day rule that fashion fascists love to impose on free spirits.’
      • ‘There is an unhealthy acceptance of the bad boys of sport as evidenced by last week's telly programme depicting renegades in a ‘sympathetic’ light.’
      • ‘Out of over 30 cousins on one side alone, there are few renegades, and any sort of self-reliance is seen as catastrophic, or worse, deluded.’
      • ‘Between there and the mainland were only a few scattered fishermen, renegades, loners and eccentrics.’
      • ‘There's a reason that this outfit of hip hop renegades are on Warp.’
      • ‘‘They were renegades back then, and I guess we still are,’ said the veteran pilot and editor-in-chief of Ultralight Flying!’
      • ‘The gay scene was sort of a safe haven for any sort of social misfit or renegade.’
      • ‘He knew that he needed to assemble a team of renegades, so he personally interviewed every employee, seeking out those who could handle the demands of such an entrepreneurial environment.’
      • ‘We've got your special look at radio's original renegade.’
      • ‘Some renegades, however, are out of the closet and proudly displaying fake whiskers and five-o'clock shadow, along with suits, boots and suspenders.’
      critic, sceptic, questioner
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  • 1Having treacherously changed allegiance.

    ‘a renegade bodyguard’
    • ‘The renegade commander had returned to a small village in the middle of an opium-growing area and had taken up residence with up to 300 gun-toting supporters.’
    • ‘Renegade warlords and militants now control much of the main island of Guadalcanal.’
    • ‘After fighting a successful duel with a local drunken bully, the man earns the reputation of being a terrifying warrior and is ordered by his lord to execute a renegade samurai.’
    • ‘Each tactical mission you complete gains insight into the greater objectives of the renegade faction of this global energy consortium.’
    • ‘There was no claim of responsibility, but renegade groups in one militia have said they will not observe the truce.’
    • ‘The experience of the war on drugs suggests that if he is killed, another renegade warlord is likely to take his place and that even greater regional - even global - instability may result.’
    • ‘But a Shiah leader said the attackers may have been renegade tribal factions from within the Shiah community.’
    • ‘The so-called ‘janjaweed,’ to which news reports refer, are a renegade element of the Popular Defense Force.’
    • ‘I mean, he's not perfect, he does not have 100 percent control over these renegade terrorists, but he does have some respect in the Middle East.’
    • ‘The controversy follows close on the heels of the FY99 Appropriations Bill Report which noted China was increasing its readiness and ability to take back what China considers to be the renegade province.’
    • ‘Parents panic and one renegade cop goes berserk, in footage that is clearly recalling the riots of the previous decade and a half, from Watts to Kent State.’
    • ‘The tour has apparently upset China, which claims Taiwan as a renegade province.’
    • ‘Soon, however, that report was shot down, and the standoff, pitting a renegade cleric against the powers that be, was right back where it began.’
    • ‘China regards Taiwan as a renegade province and seeks to isolate it diplomatically.’
    • ‘He worried about thieves and renegade soldiers but none crossed his path as he galloped boldly through woods and desert.’
    • ‘To this end, he has assembled not only his amazing array of weapons and inventions, but also a small army who serve as his renegade security force and ship's crew.’
    • ‘In El Salvador in the 1980s, 55 special forces troops beat back a guerrilla insurgency while gradually integrating renegade militias into a newly professionalized national army.’
    • ‘He has been claiming that such mass killings are the handiwork of the security forces themselves directly or through the renegade militants under control of official agencies.’
    • ‘And for us to say it's just a few renegade soldiers, listen, I know that those were the ones on the photographs, but there were others who were derelict in their duty.’
    • ‘The rioters blame the 10,800-strong UN force in Congo for failing to stop Wednesday's capture of the eastern border city of Bukavu by renegade commanders once allied with neighbouring Rwanda.’
    treacherous, traitorous, disloyal, perfidious, treasonous, rebel, mutinous, rebellious
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    1. 1.1archaic Having abandoned one's religious beliefs.
      ‘a renegade monk’


[NO OBJECT]archaic
  • Become a renegade.

    ‘Johnson had renegaded from the Confederacy’


Late 15th century: from Spanish renegado, from medieval Latin renegatus renounced, past participle (used as a noun) of renegare, from re- (expressing intensive force) + Latin negare deny.