Vocabulary Lesson 4: Government

By Emma Davis

Can You Guess The Word???

After deciding on a New Years resolution, Madeline made a vocal renunciation of McDonald's to her family members, in order to help her develop a healthier diet and lifestyle.
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Did you guess Renunciation? You were correct!


(n.) an action or statement in which something is given up, rejected, abandoned, or sacrificed.

*Things that are generally given up within a renunciation include a right, title, person, or ambition.*

Alternative Forms

As an adjective...

renunciative or renunciatory

What is the difference?

  • The word "renunciative" describes specific nouns, such as a right, title, or ambition, that can be a part of a renunciation.

Ex. Jamie's parents made it clear that her decision of playing a sport was renunciative, as she had the freedom to give it up and change it at any time.

  • The word "renunciatory" describes a statement being like a renunciation, such as an announcement of resignment for a job.

Ex. When hearing Billy talk of the various flaws of his job, Leo considered his statements to be renunciatory, alluding to the fact that he might quit.

Common Mistakes with the Word


In fact, the word "renunciate" is a noun meaning, in Hinduism, another word for "sannyasi" or a wandering begger. It also takes on a Christian meaning any religious devotee who renounces earthly pleasures and lives as an ascetic.


  • Relinquishment
  • Self-sacrifice
  • Surrender


While there is not an exact antonym for this word, the following list of words are similar to the antonym which would theoretically mean an action or statement in which there is a gain of power, allowance, or something is take in or accepted.

  • Permission
  • Sanction
  • Ratification
  • Agreement

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Let's Practice!

Choose the letter of the sentence that uses the word "renunciation" incorrectly:

A) Many common New Year's resolutions consist of renunciations of bad habits such as eating junk food, smoking, or spending an excessive amount of money.

B) Taylor renunciated her ambition to be a doctor because she realized that she was only wanting to be in that profession to please her parents.

C) While a dangerous mindset, people with the condition of anorexia consider the act of eating renunciative.

D) Listing the reasons she should not go on the beach trip, Rebecca's rant was renunciatory in that she later concluded she would not be going.