recant

Synonym Chooser

How is the word recant different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of recant are abjure, forswear, renounce, and retract. While all these words mean "to withdraw one's word or professed belief," recant stresses the withdrawing or denying of something professed or taught.

if they recant they will be spared

In what contexts can abjure take the place of recant?

While the synonyms abjure and recant are close in meaning, abjure implies a firm and final rejecting or abandoning often made under oath.

abjured the errors of his former faith

When would forswear be a good substitute for recant?

The words forswear and recant can be used in similar contexts, but forswear may add an implication of perjury or betrayal.

I cannot forswear my principles

When is it sensible to use renounce instead of recant?

Although the words renounce and recant have much in common, renounce may carry the meaning of disclaim or disown.

renounced abstract art and turned to portrait painting

When is retract a more appropriate choice than recant?

While in some cases nearly identical to recant, retract applies to the withdrawing of a promise, an offer, or an accusation.

the newspaper had to retract the story

Thesaurus Entries Near recant

Cite this Entry

“Recant.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/recant. Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

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