5 Words For Someone Who Doesn’t Keep Their Word

Coming up with words to describe specific types of people can be tricky. It will help you to know some synonyms for ways to describe someone who doesn’t keep their word since it can be hard to think of them on the spot. This article will explore the options for you.

Which Words Can Describe Someone Who Doesn’t Keep Their Word?

Knowing somebody who doesn’t keep their word isn’t fun, and they make for terrible friends. It might help for you to know a better way to describe them, and some good words for that include:

  • Reneger
  • Liar
  • Flake
  • Untrustworthy
  • Welcher
Which Words Can Describe Someone Who Doesn't Keep Their Word?

The preferred version is “reneger,” which comes from the verb “renege.” It means that someone isn’t able to keep their promises and always backs out of deals, which is the perfect synonym for what we’re looking for in this article.


“Reneger” comes from the verb “renege,” which is an Old French verb meaning someone backs out of a deal. To help you read it, it’s pronounced “ren – egg – er.”

“Reneger” means that someone backs out of deals or agreements frequently and never follows through with them. It’s a good choice for a synonym and can also get people into serious legal trouble if they’re not careful with the agreements that they back away from.

The definition of “reneger,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to fail to keep a promise or an agreement, etc.”

“Renege” is an Old French verb, which means “to fail to keep a promise.” We can apply to letter “R” to the end to talk about a person who is unable to keep their promises.

Generally, this is not a good thing to be, and it refers to someone who doesn’t keep their word. They’ll often end up with a damning reputation that many people understand means they never keep their words, no matter what the deal is.

You might see it in the following ways:

  • You’re nothing but a reneger, and I don’t want to work with you anymore.
  • Stop being a reneger and keep your word for once.
  • You’re a man who doesn’t keep his word, which makes you a reneger in my eyes.


Next, we have “liar,” which is perhaps the most commonly recognized word on this list. Many people will understand what you’re talking about when you call them a “liar.”

A “liar” is somebody who tells lies and is unable to keep their word. Usually, they’ll make promises or deals that they have no intention of seeing through, which results in them lying about the outcome.

The definition of “liar,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “someone who tells lies.”

People who don’t keep their word can be called liars in some cases. Of course, if they never lied and simply didn’t keep their word, then “liar” might not be the most appropriate adjective, but it works well in most cases.

Again, somebody who tells lies isn’t somebody you want to associate yourself with. While little lies can be beneficial to spare people’s feelings, if people keep lying about keeping promises or keeping their word, then you’ll find them difficult to talk to and confide in.

You might see it in the following ways:

  • You’re a liar. I know you’ve told everyone what I told you in confidence!
  • I’m a liar and a cheat, which is why no one confides in me anymore!
  • You broke this promise, which makes you a liar in my eyes!


Next, we have “flake,” which is a slang term that’s become a noun for somebody who can’t be trusted with promises.

A “flake” is somebody who doesn’t keep promises or doesn’t remember things you say to them. Generally, they’ll break promises quickly because they “flake out” and are unable to keep quiet about them.

The definition of “flake,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “a person you cannot trust to remember things or to do what they promise, or someone who behaves in a strange way.”

Flakes are typically people who break promises because they “flake out.” The verb “flake out” means that someone loses their nerve and is unable to keep promises (usually if someone else pressures them into sharing your private promise).

Someone who goes back on their word after being tested is a flake. It shows that they’re unable to keep promises, and you shouldn’t trust them with any private information.

You might see “flake” in the following cases:

  • You’re too much of a flake to share anything with. That’s why most people avoid talking to you!
  • I’m a flake, and I’m sorry that I backed out of my word!
  • He’s a flake. I know he told everyone what I mentioned to him in private.


“Untrustworthy” people usually make it difficult to trust them. We can apply this meaning to more generally mean that they’re unable to keep their word and make it difficult for anybody to confide in them.

If someone is “untrustworthy,” it means they’re not able to be trusted by other people. They get this reputation because they frequently back out of their word and refuse to keep it, making it much harder for anyone to trust them again.

The definition of “untrustworthy,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “not able to be trusted.”

While not strictly related to someone who breaks promises, “untrustworthy” is a great word that we can use in this context. It’s very common to not want to trust someone when they’ve shown clear signs that they’re not willing to keep their word with you.

It’s best to avoid untrustworthy people altogether, although this is often easier said than done.

Here are some examples of using “untrustworthy” to talk about someone who doesn’t keep their word:

  • She’s too untrustworthy to talk to anymore. Everyone here knows my deepest secrets because of her.
  • You’re nothing but an untrustworthy swine, and I refuse to associate with you.
  • They’re all untrustworthy. Have you seen how many promises they’ve broken between themselves?


Finally, we come to “welcher,” which comes from the verb “to welch.”

A “welcher” is somebody who avoids doing something that they’ve promised. It mostly applies when you’ve asked somebody to help you with something, and they’ve agreed, but then they back out or come up with an excuse as to why they can’t help you.

The definition of “welcher,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “to avoid doing something you have promised to do, especially not to pay a debt.”

“Welchers” typically have a lot of money issues. That’s because they’re terrible at paying back debt or loans since there’s always a more pressing issue that takes away most “welchers” attention.

If they can avoid it, they will try their best to, which makes it a really good noun for anyone who doesn’t keep their word.

You might see “welcher” written in the following cases:

  • He’s a welcher, and I don’t want him to live in my apartments anymore.
  • You promised me you’d show up, and you didn’t. You’re the biggest welcher I’ve ever met.
  • You’re a welcher! I expected to see you there, but you didn’t come!

What Are Empty Promises?

Someone who doesn’t keep their word might also be known as someone who makes “empty promises.” It can help you to understand what “empty promises” are. That way, you can choose to use one of the above words or use “empty promises” when it’s appropriate.

“Empty promises” are false promises that people have no intention of keeping. They’ll usually make a promise with somebody but then back out of the deal or not do what was required of them.

Someone who keeps empty promises is someone who breaks promises without a second thought. They won’t mind whether they upset you or insult you and instead will only look out for themselves.

It can be hard to forgive someone who delivers nothing but empty promises, which is why it’s good to watch out for them. The more often your friends back out of their word or promises, the more likely they are to give you empty promises.

How Should I Deal With People Who Don’t Keep Their Words?

People can be difficult to deal with, and there’s no denying that. What makes them even more difficult is when you come across people who don’t keep their words.

The best way to deal with people who don’t keep their words is by not confiding in them or asking anything of them. Avoid any situations where you might have to make them promise you something or give you their word.

Since they’re prone to going back on their word, it’s unlikely that you’ll need their help. It’s better that you find somebody who is willing to keep their word, as they’ll often make a much better friend for you in the long run.

If you have no other choice, then the best thing to do is give the person who goes back on their words an ultimatum. It might help to come up with a subtle punishment of sorts if they don’t carry out their word. That way, you’re not the only one who has to suffer the consequences.

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