Synonyms & Antonyms of recant

to solemnly or formally reject or go back on (as something formerly adhered to)
  • the Inquisition forced Galileo to recant his support of the Copernican observation that the earth revolves around the sun

Synonyms for recant

Words Related to recant

Near Antonyms for recant

Antonyms for recant

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About recant

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about recant

Time Traveler for recant

Time Traveler

The first known use of recant was in 1535

See more words from the same year

Cite this Entry

“Recant.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on recant

Dictionary: Definition of recant

Nglish: Translation of recant for Spanish Speakers

Comments on recant

What made you want to look up recant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!