A disloyal person. One unmindful of duty. A coward. In the course of a trial by wager of battle, a champion was said to prove "recreant" when he yielded to his adversary and pronounced the "horrible word of craven," which signified disgrace and obloquy, rather than anything determinate in meaning. See 3 Bl Comm 340.

Ballentine's law dictionary. . 1998.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Recreant — Rec re*ant ( ant), a. [OF., cowardly, fr. recroire, recreire, to forsake, leave, tire, discourage, regard as conquered, LL. recredere se to declare one s self conquered in combat; hence, those are called recrediti or recreanti who are considered… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • recreant — c.1300 (adj.) confessing oneself to be overcome or vanquished, from O.Fr. recreant yielding, giving, prp. of recroire to yield in a trial by combat, surrender allegiance, perhaps on notion of take back one s pledge, yield one s cause, from re… …   Etymology dictionary

  • recreant — Recreant, Picard. Recreant, Qui ne peut plus fournir à la peine, Recreu, Enectus, Fatiscens. C est aussi aucunesfois lasche de courage …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Recreant — Rec re*ant, n. One who yields in combat, and begs for mercy; a mean spirited, cowardly wretch. Blackstone. [1913 Webster] You are all recreants and dastards! Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • recreant — I adjective afraid, apostate, apostatic, apostatical, base, betraying, caitiff, conniving, corrupt, cowardly, cowering, craven, dastardly, deceitful, derelict, designing, disaffected, disgraceful, dishonest, dishonorable, disloyal, dissembling,… …   Law dictionary

  • recreant — n *renegade, apostate, turncoat, backslider Analogous words: treacherousness or treachery, perfidiousness or perfidy, traitorousness (see corresponding adjectives at FAITHLESS) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • recreant — [rek′rē ənt] [Archaic or Literary] Literary Archaic adj. [ME < OFr prp. of recreire, to surrender allegiance < ML recredere, to give in or up < L re , back, again + credere, to believe: see CREED] 1. cowardly; craven 2. failing to keep… …   English World dictionary

  • recreant —    A literary rather than a modern colloquial term. Shakespeare is rather fond of it, using it as a vocative on several occasions to mean either a coward or a deserter. ‘Most recreant coward’ occurs in Henry the Fourth Part Two, but ‘recreant’… …   A dictionary of epithets and terms of address

  • recreant — 1. adjective a) disloyal, unfaithful, surrendering allegiance. b) cowardly, craven 2. noun Somebody who is recreant. A person who yields in combat, or is cowardly and fain …   Wiktionary

  • recreant — [ rɛkrɪənt] archaic adjective 1》 cowardly. 2》 apostate. noun a recreant person. Derivatives recreancy noun recreantly adverb Origin ME: from OFr., lit. surrendering , pres. participle of recroire, from med. L. (se) recredere surrender (oneself) …   English new terms dictionary

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