Going back on an agreement is so common in American culture that there are many words and phrases to describe this action. Some of these include:
Abrogate – To end or cancel an agreement in a formal and official way; to fail to do what is required (such as a responsibility). From Latin abrogates: ab- + rogare to ask, propose a law. First known use: 1526. Example: The U.S. Congress can abrogate old treaties that are unfair to Native Americans.
Back Out – To withdraw especially from a commitment or contest. First known use: 1807. Example: She backed out of her offer to help with the wedding plans.
Bail Out – To parachute from an aircraft; to abandon a harmful or difficult situation. First known use: 1930. Example: If the negotiations don’t work, we may decide to bail out of our contract.
Cop Out – To back out (as of an unwanted responsibility; to avoid or neglect problems, responsibilities, or commitments. First known use: 1952. Example: Don’t cop out on your promise to pay for dinner.
Go Back On – To be treacherous or faithless to; betray; to fail to keep; renege on. First known use: 1859. Example: He went back on his promises.
Pull Out – Leave, depart; withdraw. First known use: 1855. Example: The company manager decided to pull out of her contract when it stopped being profitable.
Recant – To publicly say that you no longer have an opinion, belief, etc. that you once had. From Latin recantare: re- + cantare to sing. First known use: 1535. Example: Witnesses threatened to recant their testimony when the court released their names to the paper.
Renege – To refuse to do something that you promised or agreed to do. From Medieval Latin renegare. First known use: 1548. Example: My friend promised to help me move, only to renege the next day.
Take Back – to make a retraction of; withdraw. First known use: 1775. Example: I take back what I said about the business: they’re not as amazing as I thought they were.
Weasel Out – To evade a responsibility, especially in a despicable manner; renege. Example: I agreed to help my neighbor, now I just need to find a way to weasel out of it.
Withdraw – To remove (money) from a bank account; to take (something) back so that it is no longer available; to take back (something that is spoken, offered, etc.). From Middle English: with + drawn to draw. First known use: 13th Century. Example: After difficulties with communication, the customer decided to withdraw from his contract with the company.