[ree-kawrs, -kohrs, ri-kawrs, -kohrs]
access or resort to a person or thing for help or protection: to have recourse to the courts for justice.
a person or thing resorted to for help or protection.
the right to collect from a maker or endorser of a negotiable instrument. The endorser may add the words “without recourse” on the instrument, thereby transferring the instrument without assuming any liability.

1350–1400; Middle English recours < Old French < Late Latin recursus, Latin: return, retreat, noun use of past participle of recurrere to run back; see recur Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
recourse (rɪˈkɔːs)
1.  the act of resorting to a person, course of action, etc, in difficulty or danger (esp in the phrase have recourse to)
2.  a person, organization, or course of action that is turned to for help, protection, etc
3.  the right to demand payment, esp from the drawer or endorser of a bill of exchange or other negotiable instrument when the person accepting it fails to pay
4.  without recourse a qualified endorsement on such a negotiable instrument, by which the endorser protects himself or herself from liability to subsequent holders
[C14: from Old French recours, from Late Latin recursus a running back, from re- + currere to run]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. recours (13c.), from L. recursus "return, retreat," lit. "a running back," from stem of pp. of recurrere "run back, return" (see recur).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Sometimes the only recourse is daily combing and nit-picking, and this may take
  some time to eliminate an infestation.
All this can be seen close-up, without a blind, without recourse to binoculars.
Nevertheless, people throughout time have found what seemed to them good reason
  for recourse to alcohol.
It is used as a recourse for people who have not had success with medications.
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