[verb ri-kawl; noun ri-kawl, ree-kawl for 7–9, 12, 13; ree-kawl for 10, 11]
See more synonyms for recall on
verb (used with object)
  1. to bring back from memory; recollect; remember: Can you recall what she said?
  2. to call back; summon to return: The army recalled many veterans.
  3. to bring (one's thoughts, attention, etc.) back to matters previously considered: He recalled his mind from pleasant daydreams to the dull task at hand.
  4. International Law. to summon back and withdraw the office from (a diplomat).
  5. to revoke or withdraw: to recall a promise.
  6. to revive.
  1. an act of recalling.
  2. recollection; remembrance.
  3. the act or possibility of revoking something.
  4. the removal or the right of removal of a public official from office by a vote of the people taken upon petition of a specified number of the qualified electors.
  5. Also called callback. a summons by a manufacturer or other agency for the return of goods or a product already shipped to market or sold to consumers but discovered to be defective, contaminated, unsafe, or the like.
  6. a signal made by a vessel to recall one of its boats.
  7. a signal displayed to direct a racing yacht to sail across the starting line again.

Origin of recall

First recorded in 1575–85; re- + call
Related formsre·call·a·ble, adjectiveun·re·call·a·ble, adjectiveun·re·called, adjective

Synonyms for recall

See more synonyms for on
1. See remember. 5. rescind, retract, recant, repeal; annul. 7. memory. 9. revocation, retraction, repeal, withdrawal, recantation; nullification.

Antonyms for recall

1. forget. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for recall

Contemporary Examples of recall

Historical Examples of recall

  • I cannot recall the precise amount, but it was not so much as what you call one dollar.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He tried to recall some forgotten detail of the business that might serve to occupy him.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He sat down on the anvil with his heart beating, and began to recall the picture.

  • I longed to be by myself that I might recall Ned's every look and word.

  • Humour he had in plenty; one has only to recall Acis and Galatea.


    Edward J. Dent

British Dictionary definitions for recall


verb (tr)
  1. (may take a clause as object) to bring back to mind; recollect; remember
  2. to order to return; call back permanently or temporarilyto recall an ambassador
  3. to revoke or take back
  4. to cause (one's thoughts, attention, etc) to return from a reverie or digression
  5. poetic to restore or revive
  1. the act of recalling or state of being recalled
  2. revocation or cancellation
  3. the ability to remember things; recollection
  4. military (esp formerly) a signal to call back troops, etc, usually a bugle callto sound the recall
  5. US the process by which elected officials may be deprived of office by popular vote
Derived Formsrecallable, adjective
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

Word Origin and History for recall

1580s, "to bring back by calling upon," from re- "back, again" + call (v.); in some cases a loan-translation of Middle French rappeler (see repeal (v.)) or Latin revocare (see revoke). Sense of "bring back to memory" is from 1610s. Related: Recalled; recalling.


1650s, "act of recalling to mind," from recall (v.). In U.S. politics, "removal of an elected official," 1902.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

recall in Medicine


  1. To remember; recollect.
  1. The ability to remember information or experiences.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with recall


see beyond recall.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.