"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[ri-kant] /rɪˈkænt/
verb (used with object)
to withdraw or disavow (a statement, opinion, etc.), especially formally; retract.
verb (used without object)
to withdraw or disavow a statement, opinion, etc., especially formally.
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 forms
[ree-kan-tey-shuh n] /ˌri kænˈteɪ ʃən/ (Show IPA),
recanter, noun
recantingly, adverb
unrecanted, adjective
unrecanting, adjective
Can be confused
recant, recount.
1. revoke, recall, rescind, deny. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for recant
  • Several refused to recant formally, only making statements that they were no longer sure.
  • He had to publicly recant his critical remarks about her.
  • Many detainees were required to recant their religious beliefs as a precondition of release.
  • Many were required to recant their religious beliefs as a precondition of release.
British Dictionary definitions for recant


to repudiate or withdraw (a former belief or statement), esp formally in public
Derived Forms
recantation (ˌriːkænˈteɪʃən) noun
recanter, 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
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Word Origin and History for recant

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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