What does recreant mean?

Definitions for recreant
ˈrɛk ri əntrecre·ant

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word recreant.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. poltroon, craven, recreantnoun

    an abject coward

  2. deserter, apostate, renegade, turncoat, recreant, ratteradjective

    a disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause or religion or political party or friend etc.

  3. recreant, renegadeadjective

    having deserted a cause or principle

    "some provinces had proved recreant"; "renegade supporters of the usurper"

  4. craven, recreantadjective

    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


  1. recreantnoun

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

  2. recreantadjective

    disloyal, unfaithful, surrendering allegiance.

  3. recreantadjective

    cowardly, craven

  4. Etymology: From recreant 'yielding, giving', from the verb recroire "to yield in a trial by combat, surrender allegiance", itself from re- 'again, back' + croire 'to entrust, believe' (from credere). In use in English as an adjective, meaning "confessing oneself to be overcome or vanquished," since the 14th century, 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).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Recreantadjective

    Etymology: recriant, Fr.

    Let be that lady debonaire,
    Thou recreant knight, and soon thyself prepare
    To battle. Fairy Queen, b. ii.

    Thou wear a lion’s hide? doff it for shame,
    And hang a calf’s skin on those recreant limbs. William Shakespeare.

    Here standeth Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk,
    On pain to be found false and recreant. William Shakespeare.

    Must, as a foreign recreant, be led
    With manacles along our street. William Shakespeare.

    The knight, whom fate and happy chance shall grace
    From out the bars to force his opposite,
    Or kill, or make him recreant on the plain,
    The prize of valour and of love shall gain. Dryden.

    Who for so many benefits receiv’d,
    Turn’d recreant to God, ingrate and false,
    And so of all true good himself despoil’d. John Milton, Par. Reg.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Recreantadjective

    crying for mercy, as a combatant in the trial by battle; yielding; cowardly; mean-spirited; craven

  2. Recreantadjective

    apostate; false; unfaithful

  3. Recreantnoun

    one who yields in combat, and begs for mercy; a mean-spirited, cowardly wretch

  4. Etymology: [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 infamous; L. pref. re- again, back + credere to believe, to be of opinion; hence, originally, to disavow one's opinion. See Creed.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Recreant

    rek′rē-ant, adj. cowardly: false: apostate: renegade.—n. a mean-spirited wretch: an apostate: a renegade.—n. Rec′rēancy, the quality of a recreant: a yielding, mean, cowardly spirit.—adv. Rec′rēantly. [O. Fr., pr.p. of recroire, to change belief—Low L. (se) re-credĕre, to own one's self beaten—L. re-, again, credĕre, to believe.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. recreant

    This term was for him who had yielded in single combat.

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. recreant

    Crying for mercy, as a combatant in the trial of battle; yielding; cowardly. Also, one who yields in combat, and cries craven; one who begs for mercy; a mean-spirited, cowardly wretch.

Anagrams for recreant »

  1. Terrance

  2. recanter

How to pronounce recreant?

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of recreant in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of recreant in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

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    closely constrained or constricted or constricting
    • A. dependable
    • B. whirring
    • C. tight
    • D. cosmopolitan

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