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Denounce vs. Renounce

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There are a lot of English words with similar meanings, spelling, pronunciations, etc., and they all serve to confuse writers. Which word is meant to be used and when? Such is the case with renounce vs. denounce. These words share a similar Latin origin, but in modern English they have different meanings and uses. Today, I want to discuss the differences between renounce and denounce. I will go over their definitions, their uses within a sentence, and provide you with a few tricks to tell them apart. After reading this article, you shouldn’t ever mix up these two words again.

Origin:

The word denounce originated from Middle English (originally in the sense ‘proclaim’, also ‘proclaim someone to be wicked, a rebel, etc.’): from Old French denoncier, from Latin denuntiare ‘give official information’, based on nuntius ‘messenger’. The word renounce originated from late Middle English: from Old French renoncer, from Latin renuntiare ‘protest against’, from re- (expressing reversal) + nuntiare ‘announce’.

Denounce as verb:

Denounce is used as a verb in English language where it implies the meaning of publicly declaring to be wrong or evil.

The Assembly denounced the use of violence.

Renounce as verb:

Renounce is also used as a verb in English language where it means to formally declare one's abandonment of (a claim, right, or possession).

Isabella offered to renounce her son's claim to the French Crown.

To refuse or resign a right or position, especially one as an heir or trustee is called renounce.

There will be forms enabling the allottee to renounce.

Renounce also means to refuse to continue to recognize or abide by.

These agreements were renounced after the fall of the Tsarist regime.

Examples:

In a lengthy speech, he renounced his citizenship.

Due to mounting pressure, he was forced to renounce his claim to the throne.

The treaty forced the nation to renounce all nuclear weapons.

The President denounced the violence and called for peace.

After his desertion, he was denounced as a traitor.

Some of his cabinet members denounced him to the media for perjury.

Germany violated many disarmament provisions of the Treaty of Versailles during the 1920s, and Hitler denounced the treaty altogether in 1935.

Denounce or renounce:

These words share a similar origin, but their English meanings are very different. It is, therefore, that much more important to use denounce vs. renounce carefully. Renounce means to give up or relinquish or declare your ending support. Denounce means to condemn openly, accuse publicly, or formally end a treaty. There’s a good trick to remember when choosing renounce or denounce and it has to do with the first letter of each word. Renounce is similar in meaning to reject, retract, and revoke. Renounce, reject, retract, and revoke all start with the letter “R.” Denounce is similar in meaning to condemn. Denounce and condemn both have the letter “D” in them. If you can remember this trick, you should be all set.


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"Denounce vs. Renounce." Grammar.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 20 Nov. 2017. <http://www.grammar.com/denounce_vs._renounce>.

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