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90s Slang You Should Know


[ri-kant] /rɪˈkænt/
verb (used with object)
to withdraw or disavow (a statement, opinion, etc.), especially formally; retract.
verb (used without object)
to withdraw or disavow a statement, opinion, etc., especially formally.
Origin of recant
1525-35; < Latin recantāre to sing back, sing again, equivalent to re- re- + cantāre, frequentative of canere to sing; cf. chant
Related forms
[ree-kan-tey-shuh n] /ˌri kænˈteɪ ʃən/ (Show IPA),
recanter, noun
recantingly, adverb
unrecanted, adjective
unrecanting, adjective
Can be confused
recant, recount.
1. revoke, recall, rescind, deny. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for recantation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Dodds would have sent him to the stake without an opportunity for recantation.

    Lalage's Lovers George A. Birmingham
  • His recantation, which he afterwards made, is in the British Museum.

  • If any be so bold as to remonstrate to their decisions, they will bring him on his knees to a recantation of his impudence.

    In Praise of Folly Desiderius Erasmus
  • He persevered in Calvinism after the recantation of the King.

    The Memoirs of Madame de Montespan, Complete Madame La Marquise De Montespan
  • The old man's voice trembled and he looked wistfully in Azora's face in hopes of seeing some sign of her recantation.

    The Arab's Pledge Edward L. Mitford
  • Becoming, however, sensible of his error, he publicly renounced his recantation.

  • No other voice is raised to interrupt the meditative flow of the old man's message, which is, in fact, a recantation.

  • He was restored to his pleasant quarters in Newgate, and recanted his recantation.

  • You already have the blacksmith's recantation—a blow in the teeth for your enemies.

    Perlycross R. D. Blackmore
British Dictionary definitions for recantation


to repudiate or withdraw (a former belief or statement), esp formally in public
Derived Forms
recantation (ˌriːkænˈteɪʃən) noun
recanter, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin recantāre to sing again, from re- + cantāre to sing; see chant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for recantation

1540s, noun of action from recant.



1530s, from Latin recantare "recall, revoke," from re- "back" (see re-) + cantare "to chant" (see chant (v.)). A word from the Reformation. Loan-translation of Greek palinoidein "recant," from palin "back" + oeidein "to sing." Related: Recanted; recanting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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