AskDefine | Define recant

Dictionary Definition

recant v : formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief, usually under pressure; "He retracted his earlier statements about his religion"; "She abjured her beliefs" [syn: abjure, forswear, retract, resile]

User Contributed Dictionary



First attested in 1535, from Latin recantare revoke, from re- back + cantare to chant/sing.



  1. To withdraw or repudiate formally and publicly (opinions formerly expressed); to contradict, as a former declaration; to take back openly; to retract; to recall.
  2. To revoke a declaration or proposition; to unsay what has been said; to retract; as, convince me that I am wrong, and I will recant.


to withdraw or repudiate formally and publicly

Extensive Definition

The verb recant , and its derivative noun recantation, can mean:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abandon, abjure, abolish, abrogate, annul, assert the contrary, back down, back out, backwater, belie, brush aside, cancel, cede, chuck, chuck out, climb down, contemn, contest, contradict, contravene, controvert, counter, countermand, counterorder, crawfish out, cross, decline, deny, despise, disaffirm, disallow, disannul, disapprove, disavow, discard, disclaim, discount, disdain, disgorge, dismiss, disown, dispense with, dispose of, disprove, dispute, disregard, do away with, do without, drop, dump, eat crow, eat humble pie, except, exclude, forgo, forsake, forswear, gainsay, get along without, get rid of, give away, give up, have done with, ignore, impugn, invalidate, join issue upon, kiss good-bye, make a sacrifice, make void, not accept, not admit, nullify, oppose, override, overrule, part with, pass by, pass up, push aside, quitclaim, rebuff, recall, refuse, refuse to admit, refuse to consider, refute, reject, relinquish, render up, renege, renounce, repeal, repel, repudiate, repulse, rescind, resign, retract, reverse, revoke, sacrifice, scout, set aside, shove away, spare, spurn, surrender, suspend, swallow, swear off, take back, take issue with, throw away, throw out, throw up, turn away, turn out, unsay, vacate, void, waive, withdraw, write off, yield
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