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recreant

[rek-ree-uh nt] /ˈrɛk ri ənt/
adjective
1.
cowardly or craven.
2.
unfaithful, disloyal, or traitorous.
noun
3.
a coward.
4.
an apostate, traitor, or renegade.
Origin
1300-1350
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
recreance, recreancy, noun
recreantly, adverb
unrecreant, adjective
Synonyms
1. dastardly, pusillanimous, base, faint-hearted, yellow. 2. faithless, untrue, apostate. 3. dastard.
Antonyms
1. brave. 2. loyal. 3. hero.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for re-creance

recreant

/ˈrɛkrɪənt/
adjective
1.
cowardly; faint-hearted
2.
disloyal
noun
3.
a disloyal or cowardly person
Derived Forms
recreance, recreancy, noun
recreantly, adverb
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for re-creance
recreant
c.1300 (adj.) "confessing oneself to be overcome or vanquished," from O.Fr. recreant "yielding, giving," prp. of recroire "to yield in a trial by combat, surrender allegiance," perhaps on notion of "take back one's pledge, yield one's cause," from re- "again, back" + croire "entrust, believe," from L. credere.
"Non sufficit ... nisi dicat illud verbum odiosum, quod recreantus sit." [Bracton, c.1260]
Meaning "unfaithful to duty" is from 1643. Noun sense of "one who yields in combat, coward, faint-hearted person" is first recorded c.1400.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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