AskDefine | Define recreant

Dictionary Definition

recreant adj
1 having deserted a cause or principle; "some provinces had proved recreant"; "renegade supporters of the usurper" [syn: renegade]
2 lacking even the rudiments of courage; abjectly fearful; "the craven fellow turned and ran"; "a craven proposal to raise the white flag"; "this recreant knight"- Spenser [syn: craven]


1 an abject coward [syn: poltroon, craven]
2 a disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause or religion or political party or friend etc. [syn: deserter, apostate, renegade, turncoat, ratter]

User Contributed Dictionary



Recreant has been in use in English as an adjective, meaning "confessing oneself to be overcome or vanquished," since the 14th century, from Old French recreant (yielding, giving), from the verb recroire "to yield in a trial by combat, surrender allegiance," from re- (again, back) + croire (to entrust, believe), from credere. The usage as a noun for a coward or faint-hearted was first recorded from the 15th century. The modern sense of "unfaithful to duty" is modern, first attested in 1643 (OED).



  1. Somebody who is recreant. A person who yields in combat, or is cowardly and faint-hearted.




from Latin recreans, present participle of recreare 'to refresh, envigorate'


  1. Somebody who practices, or enjoys recreation.


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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