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Corruption of renegade, influenced by run + agate (on the way, agoing).


runagate (plural runagates)

  1. A deserter, renegade or apostate.
    • 1733, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Mr Shelton, Mr Blunt (translators), The History of the Valorous and Witty Knight-Errant Don Quixote of the Mancha, Volume 2, page 152,
      And being in this doubt the Runagate came to us, asking upon what we ſtaid, for it was now high time to be going away, and all, his Moors were careleſs, and the greater number of them aſleep.
    • 1850, John Johnson (translator), A Collection of the Laws and Canons of the Church of England, Volume 1, New Edition, page 165,
      Whatever brother, contrary to the prohibition of the venerable canons, receives a runagate clerk or monk, without pacific letters, and when convened obstinately persists in it, let him pay what is appointed, viz., thirty sicles; fifteen to the bishop, fifteen to the abbot whose monk he received without consent of his own prior. Let him dismiss the runagate, or be excommunicate, and run the risk of paying more.
    • 2005, Cheryl A. Wall, Worrying The Line: Black Women Writers, Lineage, And Literary Tradition, page 195,
      The runagate or renegade slave travels the freedom train toward the mythic North and beyond ("first stop Mercy and the last Hallelujah").