Understanding the collective behavior of the quasiparticles in solid-state systems underpins the field of non-volatile electronics, including the opportunity to control many-body effects for well-desired physical phenomena and their applications. Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) is a wide energy bandgap semiconductor, showing immense potential as a platform for low-dimensional device heterostructures. It is an inert dielectric used for gated devices, having a negligible orbital hybridization when placed in contact with other systems. Despite its inertness, we discover a large electron mass enhancement in few-layer hBN affecting the lifetime of the pi-band states. We show that the renormalization is phonon-mediated and consistent with both single- and multiple-phonon scattering events. Our findings thus unveil a so-far unknown many-body state in a wide-bandgap insulator, having important implications for devices using hBN as one of their building blocks.