[ ri-sid-uh-viz-uh m ]
/ rɪˈsɪd əˌvɪz əm /


repeated or habitual relapse, as into crime.
Psychiatry. the chronic tendency toward repetition of criminal or antisocial behavior patterns.

Nearby words

  1. recharge,
  2. rechargeable,
  3. recherche,
  4. recherché,
  5. recidivate,
  6. recidivist,
  7. recife,
  8. recip.,
  9. recipe,
  10. recipience

Origin of recidivism

1885–90; < Latin recidīv(us) relapsing (recid(ere) to fall back (re- re- + -cidere, combining form of cadere to fall) + -īvus -ive) + -ism

Related formsre·cid·i·vist, noun, adjectivere·cid·i·vis·tic, re·cid·i·vous, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for recidivism

British Dictionary definitions for recidivism


/ (rɪˈsɪdɪˌvɪzəm) /


habitual relapse into crime
Derived Formsrecidivist, noun, adjectiverecidivistic or recidivous, adjective

Word Origin for recidivism

C19: from Latin recidīvus falling back, from re- + cadere to fall

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 recidivism



"habit of relapsing" (into crime), 1882, from recidivist + -ism, modeled on French récidivisme, from récidiver.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for recidivism


[ rĭ-sĭdə-vĭz′əm ]


A tendency to lapse into a previous pattern of behavior, especially a pattern of criminal habits.
The relapse of a disease or symptom.recidivation

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.