Word of the Day

Thursday, September 20, 2007


\REK-ree-uhnt\ , adjective;
Cowardly; craven.
Unfaithful; disloyal.
A coward.
An unfaithful or disloyal person.
His recreant companion disappears around the fence, but he remains, smiling affably.
-- Eric J. Segal, "Norman Rockwell and the fashioning of American masculinity", Art Bulletin, December 1, 1996
To any man there may come at times a consciousness that there blows, through all the articulations of his body, the wind of a spirit not wholly his; that his mind rebels; that another girds him and carries him whither he would not. . . . The open door was closed in his recreant face.
-- Genie Babb, "Where the bodies are buried", Narrative, October 1, 2002
Wordsworth compares himself to a truant, a false steward, a recreant, when he does not write poetry, when poetic numbers fail to come spontaneously, when his harp is defrauded and the singer ends in silence.
-- J. Douglas Kneale, "Majestic Indolence: English Romantic Poetry and the Work of Art", Criticism, September 22, 1996
And it appears in the way the review essay was set up: Aronson versus Miliband, the recreant versus the faithful one.
-- Ronald Aronson, "Response to Victor Wallis", Monthly Review, October 1, 1996
But was it worth surrendering your religion, hence your honor, and becoming a recreant?
-- Eugen Weber, "The Ups and Downs of Honor", American Scholar, January 1, 1999
Recreant comes from Old French, from the present participle of recroire, "to yield in a trial by battle," from re-, "re-" + croire, "to believe," from Latin credere.
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