Definition of renunciation in US English:



  • 1The formal rejection of something, typically a belief, claim, or course of action.

    ‘a renunciation of violence’
    ‘entry into the priesthood requires renunciation of marriage’
    • ‘Every renunciation of instinct now becomes a dynamic source of conscience and every fresh renunciation increases the latter's severity and intolerance.’
    • ‘A voluntary restructuring scheme is proposed to encourage factory closures and renunciation of quota.’
    • ‘In 1988, in response to Jordan's final renunciation of its claims to the West Bank, the PLO declared it the independent state of Palestine, and later that year finally recognized the state of Israel.’
    • ‘Fasting has always been part of the Christian and indeed other religious traditions, part of the rhythm of fast and feast, Lent and Easter, renunciation of the bad and celebration of the good that is at the heart of all great religions.’
    • ‘In this view, the individual achieves freedom only through renunciation of his or her desires and beliefs as an individual and submersion in a larger group.’
    • ‘When lords were in residence, they were often compelled to make formal renunciations of their rights.’
    • ‘The ‘Sunshine Policy’ has developed with the clear renunciation of any suggestion the South might simply ‘absorb’ the North.’
    • ‘No more chilling evocation of the willing choice of evil exists in all literature than Lady Macbeth's famous renunciation of maternal feeling for the sake of power.’
    • ‘This constitution guarantees equality of the sexes, extends suffrage to all adult citizens, underscores the emperor's postwar renunciation of claims to divine status, and assigns the emperor a symbolic role as head of state.’
    • ‘Ironically, by the time of Tyndale's death, Henry's desire for a divorce had precipitated his renunciation of papal authority.’
    • ‘In 1560 Elizabeth scored a crucial success in the creation of an Anglophile government in Scotland and in Mary's apparent renunciation of her rival claim in the treaty of Edinburgh.’
    • ‘The renunciation of its resolution, then made solemnly and in tears, compels us to regard the actions of its party members as nothing but a deceptive ploy to win public sympathy with the April 15 general elections in mind.’
    • ‘An additional two acts involve a citizen's formal and explicit renunciation of citizenship.’
    • ‘There the parties recognised Japan's renunciation of its right, title and claim to Taiwan as stated in the San Francisco Peace Treaty, but the parties did not go any further.’
    • ‘It concluded that, despite formal renunciation in the early 1960s of the old, abused doctrine of separate but equal, at a practical level separate and unequal remained the overall condition of black Americans.’
    • ‘This is reminiscent of the pre-accord nuclear crisis in 1994 when the world grappled with the North to avert a possible disaster in the wake of its unilateral renunciation of the Non-Nuclear Proliferation Treaty.’
    • ‘You may be quick to add that something else must go with this renunciation of failure, and of course you are right.’
    • ‘Even today, Heloise has the ability to shock in her unrepentant rejection of social mores, renunciation of morality, and belief in the primacy of sexual and spiritual love and its integration with her religion.’
    • ‘You know, we had this renunciation of violence just hours before that suicide bombing.’
    • ‘The argument for the implicit renunciation, of course, also strengthens the case for the explicit.’
    abstention from, refraining from, going without, doing without, giving up of, eschewal of, rejection of
    repudiation, rejection, abandonment, forsaking, forswearing, disavowal, denial
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Law A document expressing renunciation.
      • ‘The Secretary General acts as a depository for ratifications, reservations, and renunciations of the various Council of Europe instruments.’
      • ‘If the renunciation can be proven illegal, then the Aborigines can take all the land back.’


Late Middle English: from late Latin renuntiatio(n-), from Latin renuntiare ‘protest against’ (see renounce).