[ rek-yuh-zuh nt, ri-kyoo-zuh nt ]
/ ˈrɛk yə zənt, rɪˈkyu zənt /


refusing to submit, comply, etc.
obstinate in refusal.
English History. refusing to attend services of the Church of England.


a person who is recusant.
English History. a person, especially a Roman Catholic, who refused to attend the services of the Church of England.

Origin of recusant

1545–55; < Latin recūsant- (stem of recūsāns), present participle of recusāre to demur, object, equivalent to re- re- + -cūsāre, verbal derivative of causa cause; see -ant

Related forms

un·rec·u·sant, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for recusant

British Dictionary definitions for recusant


/ (ˈrɛkjʊzənt) /


(in 16th to 18th century England) a Roman Catholic who did not attend the services of the Church of England, as was required by law
any person who refuses to submit to authority


(formerly, of Catholics) refusing to attend services of the Church of England
refusing to submit to authority

Derived Forms

recusance or recusancy, noun

Word Origin for recusant

C16: from Latin recūsāns refusing, from recūsāre from re- + causārī to dispute, from causa a cause
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