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[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.
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 recanted
  • After seven years, he once more recanted and was subjected to public humiliation.
  • Since his conviction seven of the nine witnesses have recanted their testimony.
  • When he eventually recanted, his political stock was too low for him to get far.
  • Last year, central figures in the case recanted their testimony.
  • Seven of the nine main witnesses whose testimony led to his conviction have since recanted.
  • Although philosophy and science have long since recanted, the law has not.
  • The officers then interviewed him and they testified that he confessed and recanted twice during the interview.
  • After his plea, the sole witness to the charge recanted her allegations.
British Dictionary definitions for recanted


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 recanted



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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