re·​course | \ ˈrē-ˌkȯrs How to pronounce recourse (audio) , ri-ˈkȯrs \

Definition of recourse

1a : a turning to someone or something for help or protection settled the matter without recourse to law
b : a source of help or strength : resort had no recourse left
2 : the right to demand payment from the maker or endorser of a negotiable instrument (such as a check)

Synonyms for recourse


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Examples of recourse in a Sentence

The dispute was settled without recourse to law. a toddler quickly learns that a tantrum is a surefire recourse when a polite request for something is met with parental indifference
Recent Examples on the Web When people lie about their intentions before a booking, hosts have few options for recourse, Gerst says. Olivia Carville,, 14 Oct. 2020 Keep in mind that the conditions of the rental agreement provide legal recourse for the tenant to break the lease if the property remains in disrepair after multiple requests for service. Ari Chazanas, Forbes, 3 May 2022 Without majority political support, the courts are the reactionary right’s main recourse. Philip Cohen, The New Republic, 3 May 2022 But with a majority of the court in opposition, lower courts have issued stays against it while investors, many of them foreign, pursue legal recourse. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, 1 May 2022 For solitude on a shoestring, Scribner’s suggested an exotic last recourse—a retreat into nature with only a tent and modest provisions. Dan Piepenbring, The New Yorker, 27 Apr. 2022 Do the unit owners have any recourse to hold the annual meeting? Howard Dakoff,, 10 Apr. 2022 Aid workers are beginning to demand changes, such as stronger job security, more legal recourse in labor cases that involve exploitation, injury or abuse, and more equitable compensation in light of the risks inherent in their profession. Lauren Carruth, The Conversation, 4 Apr. 2022 Others will have to cancel service and sign up again – a weird recourse, but one that Kimberley did not indicate would pose problems. Rob Pegoraro, USA TODAY, 1 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of recourse

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for recourse

Middle English recours, from Anglo-French recurs, from Late Latin recursus, from Latin, act of running back, from recurrere to run back — more at recur

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The first known use of recourse was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Recourse.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for recourse


re·​course | \ ˈrē-ˌkȯrs How to pronounce recourse (audio) \

Kids Definition of recourse

: someone or something that can be turned to for help or protection


re·​course | \ ˈrē-ˌkōrs, ri-ˈkōrs How to pronounce recourse (audio) \

Legal Definition of recourse

1a : the act of turning to someone or something for assistance especially in obtaining redress
b : a means to a desired end especially in the nature of a remedy or justice also : the end itself
2 : the right or ability to demand payment or compensation specifically : the right to demand payment from the endorser or drawer of a negotiable instrument — see also recourse note at note — compare non-recourse

Note: Under Article 3 of the Uniform Commercial Code, the phrase without recourse on a negotiable instrument limits the liability of the endorser or drawer. If an endorsement states that it is made without recourse, the endorser is not liable to pay, subject to various conditions, if the instrument is dishonored. Similarly, if a draft states that it is drawn without recourse, the drawer is not liable to pay, subject to various conditions, if the draft is dishonored, provided that it is not a check.

More from Merriam-Webster on recourse

Nglish: Translation of recourse for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of recourse for Arabic Speakers


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