recuse

verb
re·​cuse | \ ri-ˈkyüz How to pronounce recuse (audio) \
recused; recusing

Definition of recuse

transitive verb

: to disqualify (oneself) as judge in a particular case broadly : to remove (oneself) from participation to avoid a conflict of interest

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Other Words from recuse

recusal \ ri-​ˈkyü-​zəl How to pronounce recusal (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

Recuse is derived from the Anglo-French word recuser, which comes from Latin recusare, meaning "to refuse." English speakers began using "recuse" with the meaning "to refuse or reject" in the 14th century. By the 17th century, the term had acquired the meaning "to challenge or object to (a judge)." The current legal use of "recuse" as a term specifically meaning "to disqualify (oneself) as a judge" didn't come into frequent use until the mid-20th century. Broader applications soon followed from this sense - you can now recuse yourself from such things as debates and decisions as well as court cases.

Examples of recuse in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Unfortunately, Gorsuch recused himself from Carpenter v. Murphy, the major death-penalty case that could restore tribal reservations over the eastern half of Oklahoma. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court Steps to the Right," 1 July 2019 Ban has recused himself from the Sheikh Ahmad case. Stephen Wade, The Seattle Times, "Olympic ‘kingmaker’ Sheikh Ahmad leaves to handle court case," 28 Nov. 2018 Only three justices own individual stocks, a practice that occasionally forces them to recuse themselves from cases. Richard Wolf, USA TODAY, "Supreme Court justices are selling stocks that can lead to forced recusals from cases," 14 June 2018 Attorney General Jeff Sessions should not have recused himself. Ryan Teague Beckwith, Time, "Read the 191 Arguments President Trump Has Made Against the Mueller Investigation," 7 June 2018 Jones has not recused herself from issues involving Career Education, according to a list of recusals the department provided the newspaper. Maegan Vazquez, CNN, "NYT: For-profit college fraud investigations scaled back under Betsy DeVos," 13 May 2018 Two Milwaukee County circuit court judges have recused themselves from Wilke's case. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Man charged with defaming Rebecca Dallet during campaign for Supreme Court," 1 May 2018 But Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, has recused himself from the Cohen probe, according to a U.S. official. Bloomberg, AL.com, "Sessions won't recuse himself in investigation of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen," 24 Apr. 2018 Although her ethics forms have been cleared, Ms. Jones has frustrated advocates and Democrats by repeatedly rejecting their calls to recuse herself from policymaking that could benefit her former employers. New York Times, "She Left the Education Dept. for Groups It Curbed. Now She’s Back, With Plans.," 9 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recuse.' 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 recuse

1829, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for recuse

Middle English, to refuse, reject, from Anglo-French recuser, from Latin recusare

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More Definitions for recuse

re·​cuse | \ ri-ˈkyüz How to pronounce recuse (audio) \
recused; recusing

Legal Definition of recuse

1 : to challenge or object to (as a judge) as having prejudice or a conflict of interest
2 : to disqualify (as oneself or another judge or official) for a proceeding by a judicial act because of prejudice or conflict of interest an order recusing the district attorney from any proceeding may be appealed by the district attorney or the Attorney GeneralCalifornia Penal Code

Other Words from recuse

recusement noun

History and Etymology for recuse

Anglo-French recuser to refuse, from Middle French, from Latin recusare, from re- back + causari to give a reason, from causa cause, reason

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with recuse

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