• synonyms


verb (used with object)
  1. to withdraw or disavow (a statement, opinion, etc.), especially formally; retract.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to withdraw or disavow a statement, opinion, etc., especially formally.
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Origin of recant

1525–35; < Latin recantāre to sing back, sing again, equivalent to re- re- + cantāre, frequentative of canere to sing; cf. chant
Related formsre·can·ta·tion [ree-kan-tey-shuhn] /ˌri kænˈteɪ ʃən/, nounre·cant·er, nounre·cant·ing·ly, adverbun·re·cant·ed, adjectiveun·re·cant·ing, adjective
Can be confusedrecant recount


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

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British Dictionary definitions for recanted


  1. to repudiate or withdraw (a former belief or statement), esp formally in public
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Derived Formsrecantation (ˌriːkænˈteɪʃən), nounrecanter, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin recantāre to sing again, from re- + cantāre to sing; see chant
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 recanted



1530s, from Latin recantare "recall, revoke," from re- "back" (see re-) + cantare "to chant" (see chant (v.)). A word from the Reformation. Loan-translation of Greek palinoidein "recant," from palin "back" + oeidein "to sing." Related: Recanted; recanting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper