One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person who renounces his or her faith; an apostate.
2A person who deserts, betrays, or is disloyal to an organization, country, or set of principles; a turncoat, a traitor. Also more generally: a scoundrel, a reprobate.
That defies, resists, or refuses to recognize lawful or established authority; rebellious; (in later use) specifically designating a North American Indian refusing to abide by treaties signed with white settlers.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in John Gower (d. 1408), poet. From post-classical Latin renegatus apostate, traitor, renegade, use as noun of past participle of renegare. Compare Middle French renegat (French renégat) (adjective) disloyal, traitorous, (noun) apostate, Old Occitan renegat, Catalan renegat, Portuguese renegado, Italian rinnegato, † rinegato, † renegato (noun) apostate, (adjective) apostate, disloyal, traitorous, Spanish renegado. Compare later renegade, renegado, and (with the use as adjective) later renegade, renegado.
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