- cowardly or craven.
- unfaithful, disloyal, or traitorous.
- a coward.
- an apostate, traitor, or renegade.
Origin of recreant
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for recreancy
Not to cherish these feelings would be recreancy to principle.No Compromise with Slavery
William Lloyd Garrison
Amidst the poignancy of her regrets, her shame for her recreancy was sharper still.Annie Kilburn
William Dean Howells
His opposition, and their own recreancy of principle, tended rapidly to their overthrow.The Felon's Track
To hint to them that Davis would succeed was not only recreancy to freedom, but blasphemy against God.
If I am stopped at my first recreancy and turned directly the contrary way, I think I have courage.'Diana of the Crossways, Complete
- cowardly; faint-hearted
- a disloyal or cowardly person
Word Origin and History for recreancy
"one who yields in combat, one who begs for mercy, one who admits defeat," early 15c., hence "coward, faint-hearted wretch;" from recreant (adj.) and from Old French recreant as a noun, "one who acknowledges defeat, a craven, coward, renegade, traitor, wretch." In English, sense of "apostate, deserter, villain" is from 1560s.
c.1300, "confessing oneself to be overcome or vanquished," from Old French recreant "defeated, vanquished, yielding, giving; weak, exhausted; cowardly," present participle adjective from recroire "to yield in a trial by combat, surrender allegiance," literally "believe again;" perhaps on notion of "take back one's pledge, yield one's cause," from re- "again, back" (see re-) + croire "entrust, believe," from Latin credere (see credo).
Non sufficit ... nisi dicat illud verbum odiosum, quod recreantus sit. [Bracton, c.1260]
Meaning "cowardly" in English is from late 14c. Meaning "unfaithful to duty" is from 1640s.