Try Our Apps


Words You've Been Using Wrong


[ree-kawrs, -kohrs, ri-kawrs, -kohrs] /ˈri kɔrs, -koʊrs, rɪˈkɔrs, -ˈkoʊrs/
access or resort to a person or thing for help or protection:
to have recourse to the courts for justice.
a person or thing resorted to for help or protection.
the right to collect from a maker or endorser of a negotiable instrument. The endorser may add the words “without recourse” on the instrument, thereby transferring the instrument without assuming any liability.
Origin of recourse
1350-1400; Middle English recours < Old French < Late Latin recursus, Latin: return, retreat, noun use of past participle of recurrere to run back; see recur Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for recourse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • So much the worse for him, if he has not recourse to their remedies.

  • When did a rheumatic ploughman have recourse to Bath or Buxton?

    In the Heart of Vosges Matilda Betham-Edwards
  • I am grieved to be driven to have recourse to the following artifices.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • When once a man has recourse to reason and precision, there is an end of love.

  • So, in this dilemma, I had recourse to a piece of jesuitry, of which I was not a little proud.

    Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon
British Dictionary definitions for recourse


the act of resorting to a person, course of action, etc, in difficulty or danger (esp in the phrase have recourse to)
a person, organization, or course of action that is turned to for help, protection, etc
the right to demand payment, esp from the drawer or endorser of a bill of exchange or other negotiable instrument when the person accepting it fails to pay
without recourse, a qualified endorsement on such a negotiable instrument, by which the endorser protects himself or herself from liability to subsequent holders
Word Origin
C14: from Old French recours, from Late Latin recursus a running back, from re- + currere to run
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for recourse

late 14c., from Old French recours (13c.), from Latin recursus "a return, a retreat," literally "a running back, a going back," from stem of past participle of recurrere "run back, return" (see recur).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for recourse

Word Value for recourse

Scrabble Words With Friends