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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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Examples from the web for recreancy
  • Not to cherish these feelings would be recreancy to principle.
British Dictionary definitions for recreancy

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 recreancy

recreant

adj.

c.1300, "confessing oneself to be overcome or vanquished," from Old French recreant "defeated, vanquished, yielding, giving; weak, exhausted; cowardly," present participle adjective from recroire "to yield in a trial by combat, surrender allegiance," literally "believe again;" perhaps on notion of "take back one's pledge, yield one's cause," from re- "again, back" (see re-) + croire "entrust, believe," from Latin credere (see credo).

Non sufficit ... nisi dicat illud verbum odiosum, quod recreantus sit. [Bracton, c.1260]
Meaning "cowardly" in English is from late 14c. Meaning "unfaithful to duty" is from 1640s.

n.

"one who yields in combat, one who begs for mercy, one who admits defeat," early 15c., hence "coward, faint-hearted wretch;" from recreant (adj.) and from Old French recreant as a noun, "one who acknowledges defeat, a craven, coward, renegade, traitor, wretch." In English, sense of "apostate, deserter, villain" is from 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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