recidivism

noun
re·​cid·​i·​vism | \ ri-ˈsi-də-ˌvi-zəm How to pronounce recidivism (audio) \

Definition of recidivism

: a tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior especially : relapse into criminal behavior

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Did You Know?

Recidivism means literally "a falling back" and usually implies "into bad habits." It comes from the Latin word recidivus, which means "recurring." "Recidivus" itself came from the Latin verb recidere, which is a composite of the prefix re- and the verb "cadere" (meaning "to fall") and means "to fall back." "Recidivists" tend to relapse, or "fall back," into old habits and particularly crime. "Deciduous" and "incident" are two other English words that have roots in "cadere." "Deciduous" comes from the verb "decidere" (de- plus cadere), which means "to fall off." And "incident" comes from "incidere" ("in" plus "cadere"), which means "to fall into."

Examples of recidivism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Photo: iStock/Getty Images This naive policy ignores the reality of recidivism. Tom Cotton, WSJ, "Reform the Prisons Without Going Soft on Crime," 15 Aug. 2018 Kushner has been working on The Prison Reform and Redemption Act which aims to reduce the rate of recidivism, and prepare prisoners to reintegrate into society. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who Is Alice Marie Johnson? Kim Kardashian Visited the White House to Discuss Her Case," 6 June 2018 The study also found that states with fewer restrictions have lower rates of recidivism. Adam Edelman /, NBC News, "Inmates who learn trades are often blocked from jobs. Now something's being done.," 26 May 2018 Recent research published by the American Public Health Association suggests that focusing on punishments rather than positive goals can actually increase the chance of recidivism. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Can Bad Men Change? What It’s Like Inside Sex Offender Therapy," 10 May 2018 This certainly contributes to the high rate of recidivism. Philly.com, "Support counselors can keep addicts in recovery and out of prison," 23 Apr. 2018 Studies involving the use of buprenorphine/naloxone and methadone in correctional facilities have yielded up to 75-percent reductions in post-release overdoses, along with sharp reductions in relapse and recidivism. Sarah Gad, Marie Claire, "My Drug Overdose Saved My Life. Now I'm Saving Others.," 15 Mar. 2019 Furthermore, the bill mandates data analysis on the effectiveness of each recidivism-reduction program. German Lopez, Vox, "The Senate just passed criminal justice reform," 19 Dec. 2018 The program’s low rate of recidivism for crime and drug use has drawn national acclaim. New York Times, "She Went to Jail for a Drug Relapse. Tough Love or Too Harsh?," 4 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recidivism.' 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 recidivism

1884, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for recidivism

Last Updated

22 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for recidivism

The first known use of recidivism was in 1884

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More Definitions for recidivism

recidivism

noun
re·​cid·​i·​vism | \ ri-ˈsid-ə-ˌviz-əm How to pronounce recidivism (audio) \

Medical Definition of recidivism

: a tendency to relapse into a previous condition or mode of behavior high recidivism rates after cessation of smoking— A. E. Kazdin et al

recidivism

noun
re·​cid·​i·​vism | \ ri-ˈsi-də-ˌvi-zəm How to pronounce recidivism (audio) \

Legal Definition of recidivism

: relapse into criminal behavior

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More from Merriam-Webster on recidivism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with recidivism

Spanish Central: Translation of recidivism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about recidivism

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