[ rek-ree-uhnt ]
/ ˈrɛk ri ənt /


cowardly or craven.
unfaithful, disloyal, or traitorous.


a coward.
an apostate, traitor, or renegade.

Origin of recreant

1300–50; Middle English < Old French, adj. and noun use of present participle of recreire to yield in a contest, equivalent to re- re- + creire < Latin crēdere to believe

Related forms

rec·re·ance, rec·re·an·cy, nounrec·re·ant·ly, adverbun·rec·re·ant, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for recreant

British Dictionary definitions for recreant


/ (ˈrɛkrɪənt) archaic /


cowardly; faint-hearted


a disloyal or cowardly person

Derived Forms

recreance or recreancy, nounrecreantly, adverb

Word Origin for recreant

C14: from Old French, from recroire to surrender, from re- + Latin crēdere to believe; compare miscreant
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