re·​cu·​sant | \ ˈre-kyə-zənt How to pronounce recusant (audio) , ri-ˈkyü- \

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

Other Words from recusant

recusant adjective

Examples of recusant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The uniform of the conformist — sports shirt, cardigan, tennis shoes — is as easily recognized as that of the recusant — dirty white T, sideburns, two days’ growth of beard. Chris Jones,, 15 July 2019

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

First Known Use of recusant

circa 1553, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for recusant

Latin recusant-, recusans, present participle of recusare to reject, oppose, from re- + causari to give a reason, from causa cause, reason

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The first known use of recusant was circa 1553

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Cite this Entry

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

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More Definitions for recusant


re·​cu·​sant | \ ˈre-kyə-zənt, ri-ˈkyü- \

Legal Definition of recusant

: refusing to submit to authority the recusant witness failed to appear despite a subpoena

Other Words from recusant

recusant noun

More from Merriam-Webster on recusant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for recusant Encyclopedia article about recusant


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