• synonyms


[verb ri-kawl; noun ri-kawl, ree-kawl for 7–9, 12, 13; ree-kawl for 10, 11]
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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.
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  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.
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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

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

Antonyms for recall

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

Related Words for recalling

summon, remind, evoke, cite, suspend, cancel, dismiss, withdraw, awaken, waken, retrospect, renew, extract, flash, mind, revive, recollect, educe, reminisce, elicit

Examples from the Web for recalling

Contemporary Examples of recalling

Historical Examples of recalling

  • She was recalling the day she became engaged to Max, and the lost feeling she had had.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • A strange look settled on her face; she was recalling a bitter experience.

    Meadow Grass

    Alice Brown

  • "I thank you for recalling me to the world," said Maltravers, eagerly.

  • You will not be offended by my recalling this, after twenty years?'

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • Much obliged to you for recalling it so accurately and anticipating me.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for recalling


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
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  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
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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 recalling



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

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

recalling in Medicine


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

Idioms and Phrases with recalling


see beyond recall.

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