Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

recant

play
verb re·cant \ri-ˈkant\

Simple Definition of recant

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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of recant

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to withdraw or repudiate (a statement or belief) formally and publicly :  renounce

  3. 2 :  revoke

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to make an open confession of error

recantation

play \ˌrē-ˌkan-ˈtā-shən\ noun

Examples of recant in a sentence

  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 and Etymology 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>.

Law Dictionary

recant

play
transitive verb re·cant \ri-ˈkant\

Legal Definition of recant

  1. :  to renounce or withdraw (prior statements or testimony) <surprised the prosecution by recanting statements made earlier to the police>

  2. intransitive verb
  3. :  to renounce or withdraw prior statements or testimony

recantation

\ˌrē-ˌkan-ˈtā-shən\ play noun




Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up recant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to take off or remove

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

melancholy lazy frenetic philistine
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ