Definition of recreant in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈrɛkrɪənt/


1Cowardly: what a recreant figure must he make
More example sentences
  • For he did not dare give battle to our King of England; but, like a coward and a recreant knight, he made a lady, the Countess of Henaud, his messenger to come to our King and his Council, and pray that he would cease, and no more spill the blood of Christians or destroy their goods.
2Unfaithful to a belief; apostate.
Example sentences
  • Had she gone abroad to seek him and win his recreant heart again?
  • Any whitewashing on the part of the committee, or any attempt to "let down easy" a man who has been so recreant to a great public trust, cannot fail to have a serious effect upon the fortunes of the men responsible for it, and upon any political party that may, through its control of legislative action, uphold them in such a course.
  • ‘Where is this recreant knight?’ said Francesca.


1A coward: the recreant acted with outward boldness
More example sentences
  • As a lover, his story stands out forever as a warning to the timid and the recreant.
  • They told me he was a recreant and a coward, but I knew it was false.
  • The chief fallacy appears to be this - ­that he insists that the race must always count for more than the individual, and that the individual must fall in line and step with the average conventions of the race at the expense of his own well-being, or be judged a deserter and a recreant.
2A person who is unfaithful to a belief; an apostate.
Example sentences
  • 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.



Example sentences
  • Cowardice had stayed my hand and silenced my tongue, and now I would have to live with the outcome of my insufferable recreancy.
  • This I understand to mean that the punishment for recreancy falls on the champion himself unless his hirer raises him from the field.




Middle English: from Old French, literally 'surrendering', present participle of recroire, from medieval Latin (se) recredere 'surrender (oneself)', from re- (expressing reversal) + credere 'entrust'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: rec¦re|ant

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.