re·​cant | \ ri-ˈkant How to pronounce recant (audio) \
recanted; recanting; recants

Definition of recant

transitive verb

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

intransitive verb

: to make an open confession of error

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Other Words from recant

recantation \ ˌrē-​ˌkan-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce recantation (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for recant

abjure, renounce, forswear, recant, retract mean to withdraw one's word or professed belief. abjure implies a firm and final 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

Examples of recant in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Upon meeting with federation officials to discuss the relationship with Mr. Morris, in 2012, Mr. Soresi suddenly recanted. New York Times, "Whispers of Sexual Abuse Tailed an Equestrian Legend for Decades. At 81, He Was Barred for Life.," 8 Aug. 2019 Years later, one recanted and the other was discredited. Edmund H. Mahony,, "More than three decades later, troubling questions and contradictions remain about two murder convictions and the role of forensic scientist Henry Lee," 23 July 2019 Eric Lee Roberts was arrested on suspicion of murder in the 2009 death of Nancy Moyer A Washington State man allegedly admitted to murdering a former coworker 10 years ago but later recanted, according to police. Christine Pelisek,, "Wash. Man Admits He Killed Mom of 2, but Then Recants Confession," 12 July 2019 The only witness to the shooting, the girl’s friend, had also recanted an earlier statement that said the shooting was intentional. J. Brady Mccollough,, "USC’s Kevin Porter Jr. chases NBA dream to honor a father he barely knew," 16 June 2019 Vernon in the affidavit recanted his trial testimony identifying the three men as the killers of a salesman outside a convenience store. Mark Gillispie, The Seattle Times, "Appeals court says exonerated men’s claims should be heard," 29 Mar. 2019 But Robert Dunham, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C., said Illinois is rife with examples of recanted eyewitness testimony and confessions beaten out of suspects by police. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Illinois governor seeks to reinstate death penalty for mass murderers, cop killers," 15 May 2018 When the true bully emerged—one of a pair of twins whose mother, Celeste (Nicole Kidman), received regular brutal beatings at home from her husband Perry and so began to mimic his father’s violent behaviors—Renata had to recant. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "Big Little Lies Gets Tough," 28 June 2019 Domestic violence experts have pointed out that many women later recant their initial reports of abuse. Elaine Ayala,, "Castro, Doggett announce town hall on domestic violence in San Antonio," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of recant

1535, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for recant

Latin recantare, from re- + cantare to sing — more at chant

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Statistics for recant

Last Updated

12 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for recant

The first known use of recant was in 1535

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English Language Learners Definition of recant

formal : to publicly say that you no longer have an opinion or belief that you once had
re·​cant | \ ri-ˈkant How to pronounce recant (audio) \

Legal Definition of recant

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

intransitive verb

: to renounce or withdraw prior statements or testimony

Other Words from recant

recantation \ ˌrē-​ˌkan-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce recantation (audio) \ noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on recant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with recant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for recant

Spanish Central: Translation of recant

Nglish: Translation of recant for Spanish Speakers

Comments on recant

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