- 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 recreant
With Peter Pan for company, Sophie waited on the porch for the recreant pair.Glory of Youth
"Why you should call him a recreant knight, I cannot for the life of me understand," she said.Kept in the Dark
Nor would he come forth, for all that Sir Bors called him coward and recreant.King Arthur's Knights
The groomsmen are denouncing him, as he deserves to be, as a slanderer and recreant.Marion's Faith.
Finding her so obstinate he had said to her in a loud voice, "Die, recreant!"The Trial of William Tinkling
- cowardly; faint-hearted
- a disloyal or cowardly person
Word Origin and History for recreant
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.
"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.