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

On the outside, criminal justice reforms are often weighed against hard data points on recidivism risk and crime. NBC News, "Lester Holt: What I learned from spending two nights in a maximum-security prison," 6 Sep. 2019 In fact, research shows after the first two years, recidivism is markedly low. Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Unlock the Vote campaign seeks to restore ex-offenders' voting rights," 5 Sep. 2019 Lucas County, Ohio, saw a 50% decrease in recidivism for those released on misdemeanor charges, according to a report by the National Association of Counties. Collette Richards, CNN, "States are trying to change a system that keeps poor people in jail. The bail industry is blocking them.," 30 Aug. 2019 Proponents also say the program contributes to a reduction in recidivism and in turn saves the state incarceration expenses in the long run. Angie Jackson, Detroit Free Press, "Flip the Script program for ex-offenders fights proposed Whitmer budget cut," 9 July 2019 That means more measures are needed to reduce the prison population, such as sentencing reforms or reduced recidivism. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "Alabama prison study group to turn to sentence reforms next," 5 Sep. 2019 Carl Fields, a member of the Racine Interfaith Coalition and EXPO described the current law as one of diminishing returns, because ex-offenders' chances of recidivism decline with time. Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Unlock the Vote campaign seeks to restore ex-offenders' voting rights," 5 Sep. 2019 Prison officials say about 5 million children in the United States have a parent in prison, and research shows fostering better relationships can lower recidivism. USA TODAY, "Record grapefruit, light rail win, Snake Road: News from around our 50 states," 29 Aug. 2019 Three-quarters of state pot revenue is intended to be used for recidivism programs and a marijuana education and treatment fund. Becky Bohrer, Anchorage Daily News, "As marijuana prices tumble, Alaska’s licensed growers worry about taxes," 28 Aug. 2019

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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Last Updated

23 Sep 2019

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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

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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