verb re·cant \ri-ˈkant\

: to publicly say that you no longer have an opinion or belief that you once had

Full Definition of RECANT

transitive verb
:  to withdraw or repudiate (a statement or belief) formally and publicly :  renounce
:  revoke
intransitive verb
:  to make an open confession of error
re·can·ta·tion \ˌrē-ˌkan-ˈtā-shən\ noun

Examples of RECANT

  1. Church officials asked the minister to recant.
  2. Witnesses threatened to recant their testimony when the court released their names to the paper.

Origin of RECANT

Latin recantare, from re- + cantare to sing — more at chant
First Known Use: 1535

Synonym Discussion of RECANT

abjure, renounce, forswear, recant, retract mean to withdraw one's word or professed belief. abjure implies a firm rejecting or abandoning often made under oath <abjured the errors of his former faith>. renounce may carry the meaning of disclaim or disown <renounced abstract art and turned to portrait painting>. forswear may add an implication of perjury or betrayal <I cannot forswear my principles>. recant stresses the withdrawing or denying of something professed or taught <if they recant they will be spared>. retract applies to the withdrawing of a promise, an offer, or an accusation <the newspaper had to retract the story>.


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