Definition of recusant
1 : an English Roman Catholic of the time from about 1570 to 1791 who refused to attend services of the Church of England and thereby committed a statutory offense
2 : one who refuses to accept or obey established authority
recusant was our Word of the Day on 11/23/2014. Hear the podcast!
Origin and Etymology of recusant
Latin recusant-, recusans, present participle of recusare to reject, oppose, from re- + causari to give a reason, from causa cause, reason
First Known Use: circa 1553
Legal Definition of recusant
: refusing to submit to authority the recusant witness failed to appear despite a subpoena
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