Definition of recidivist
: one who relapses; specifically : a habitual criminal
recidivisticplay \-ˌsi-də-ˈvis-tik\ adjective
Recent Examples of recidivist from the Web
In 2013, then-Attorney General Eric Holder instructed prosecutors to not seek mandatory minimum sentences against low-level drug offenders who were not violent, not major recidivists and not leaders of large criminal organizations.
But the states pursuing Microsoft through the court system are hoping to show that the world’s largest software maker is a recidivist monopolist in bad need of some serious remedial punishment.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recidivist'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of recidivist
French récidiviste, from récidiver to relapse, from Middle French, from Medieval Latin recidivare, from Latin recidivus recurring, from recidere to fall back, from re- + cadere to fall — more at chance
First Known Use: 1867
RECIDIVIST Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of recidivist for English Language Learners
: a person who continues to commit crimes even after being caught and punished
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