Word of the Day : February 11, 2018


verb rih-KYOOZ


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

Did You Know?

Recuse is derived from the Middle French word recuser, which comes from the Latin recusare, meaning "to refuse." English speakers began using recuse with the meaning "to refuse or reject" in the 14th century. By the 15th 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 19th 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.


Because she was a frequent customer at the plaintiff's shop, the judge recused herself from the case.

"If HB 1225 becomes law in its current form, any county official who has an agreement with a wind developer must recuse himself or herself from any matter that involves the ownership, operation, construction or location of a wind power device in the county." — Travis Weik, The Courier-Times (New Castle, Indiana), 14 Jan. 2018

Test Your Vocabulary

Unscramble the letters to create a verb meaning "to act as judge": ACJUTIEDAD.



More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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