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 Yovanovitch vehemently denied the allegations, and Lutsenko later recanted the latter claim. Greg Miller, Washington Post, "Former ambassador testifies she felt threatened by Trump’s comments about her," 5 Nov. 2019 All three women reported to the court that the defendant reached out to them in some capacity and wanted them to give up their rights and recant their original reports to police. Ethan Schmidt, azcentral, "Phoenix man indicted for sex trafficking now accused of witness tampering," 18 Oct. 2019 The State Department dismissed the statement as baseless and Lutsenko later recanted his claim. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Diplomat tarred by White House is known for her diligence," 9 Oct. 2019 The woman later voluntarily recanted her rape allegation, police said. Fox News, "Lawyer for British woman who made false rape claim suggests she is a victim of a ‘more serious’ crime," 1 Aug. 2019 In that case, a murder trial against his cousin, Rainey was supposed to be a key prosecution witness, but recanted on the stand and said homicide detectives had beaten and threatened him into making incriminating statements. Mensah M. Dean,, "3 charged, none convicted: Why a North Philly murder remains unsolved," 29 May 2018 Hall took the stand in his own defense and has maintained that two the victims were conspiring with another girl who had recanted her accusations against him before trial. Cameron Knight,, "Man convicted in 2016 rape case involving juveniles will get new trial," 26 Aug. 2019 But its message -- about the indifference of the authorities, prompting a young woman to recant her initial statements -- comes through loud and clear. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Unbelievable' strikes a nerve with timing of Netflix debut," 16 Sep. 2019 Armstrong’s story was the first step in creating a pivotal scene in the premiere: the one in which the detectives lead Marie to recant her statement. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "Netflix’s Unbelievable Is a Different Sort of Drama About Sexual Assault," 13 Sep. 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

18 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for recant

The first known use of recant was in 1535

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How to pronounce recant (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for recant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with recant

Spanish Central: Translation of recant

Nglish: Translation of recant for Spanish Speakers

Comments on recant

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concealed or difficult to comprehend

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