Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A renegade or deserter.
  • n. A vagabond.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A deserter, renegade or apostate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A fugitive; a vagabond; an apostate; a renegade. See renegade.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Renegade; apostate.
  • Wandering about; vagabond.
  • n. A renegade; an apostate; hence, more broadly, one who deserts any cause; a turncoat.
  • n. One who runs away; a fugitive; a runaway.
  • n. A runabout; a vagabond; a wanderer.

Etymologies

Alteration of obsolete renegate, renegade (influenced by run and agate, on the way), from Middle English, from Medieval Latin renegātus; see renegade.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • “Fire upon him!” said the Lady of Lochleven; “if there be here a true servant of his father, let him shoot the runagate dead, and let the lake cover our shame!”

    The Abbot

  • Constantinople, whither the tidings preceded them that King Afridun had prevailed over the Moslems; so quoth the ancient dame, Zat al-Dawahi, “I know that my son Hardub, King of Roum, is no runagate and that he feareth not the Islamitic hosts, but will restore the whole world to the Nazarene faith.”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • If there were real reason for apprehension he would follow the runagate to the Continent, but he would not do this without absolute knowledge.

    Framley Parsonage

  • The prisoners are, of course, white men, and the lower orders of Bermuda, among whom alone could a runagate have any chance of hiding himself, are all negroes; so that such a one would be known at once.

    Tales of all countries

  • Without free trade — in its sweeter and more innocent maidenhood of smuggling — there never could have been on board that English ship the Victory, a man, unless he were a runagate, with a mind of such laxity as to understand French.

    Mary Anerley

  • Lorna might be discovered, or at any rate heard of, before the end of this campaign; if campaign it could be called of a man who went to fight nobody, only to redeem a runagate?

    Lorna Doone

  • But when my poor mother heard that I was committed, by word of honour, to a wild-goose chase, among the rebels, after that runagate Tom Faggus, she simply stared, and would not believe it.

    Lorna Doone

  • Item, he showed also that my Lord Willbewill was turned a very rebel and runagate, and that so was one Mr. Mind, his clerk; and that they two did range and revel it all the town over, and teach the wicked ones their ways.

    The Holy War

  • One side will see you as a runagate, the other as a traitor.

    The Mad Ship

  • CHAPTER VI - THE FRENCH CLERGYMAN'S COUNSEL HAVING thus given an account of the colony in general, and pretty much of my runagate Englishmen, I must say something of the Spaniards, who were the main body of the family, and in whose story there are some incidents also remarkable enough.

    The Further Adventures Of Robinson Crusoe

Comments

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  • while appearing to be a precursor of 'renegade' in that precise old-timey "it used to be like this but now we spell it differently" way, it's a different word with a different etymology, according to my dabblings. hm!

    November 25, 2009

  • Romeo flees after killing Tybalt. Lady Capulet plots her revenge.

    Then weep no more. I'll send to one in Mantua,
    Where that same banish'd runagate doth live, ...
    That he shall soon keep Tybalt company:
    And then, I hope, thou wilt be satisfied.

    – Romeo and Juliet, Act III. Scene V.

    October 19, 2009

  • Scandalous!

    August 28, 2009

  • Another uncommon word used by Tolkein.

    August 28, 2009

  • "They were submitted to my judgment, as evidence for the defence of these two runagates, in an article by my revered master, old Lecomte, beloved of the immortal gods."
    -- Swann's Way by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, p 97 of the Vintage International paperback edition

    December 26, 2007