English edit

Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /ɹəˈkænt/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ænt

Etymology 1 edit

First attested in 1535, from Latin recantare, present active infinitive of recanto (to sing back, reecho, sing again, repeat in singing, recant, recall, revoke, charm back or away), from re- (back) + canto (to chant, to sing), frequentative of cano.

Verb edit

recant (third-person singular simple present recants, present participle recanting, simple past and past participle recanted)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To withdraw or repudiate a statement or opinion formerly expressed, especially formally and publicly.
    Synonyms: abjure, disavow, disown, recall, retract, revoke, take back, unsay, withcall; see also Thesaurus:recant
    Convince me that I am wrong, and I will recant.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book IV”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker []; [a]nd by Robert Boulter []; [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], →OCLC:
      How soon [] ease would recant / Vows made in pain, as violent and void!
    • 2020 September 6, “Joe Biden’s China Journey”, in New York Times[1]:
      But as Mr. Trump denounces what he describes as failures by the Washington establishment on China, Mr. Biden, an avatar of that establishment, is not recanting his past enthusiasm for engagement.
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Etymology 2 edit

From re- +‎ cant.

Verb edit

recant (third-person singular simple present recants, present participle recanting, simple past and past participle recanted)

  1. To give a new cant (slant, angle) to something, in particular railway track on a curve.
    • 1941 June, Cecil J. Allen, “British Locomotive Practice and Performance”, in Railway Magazine, page 263:
      Numerous curves, which previously had given no trouble at 75 and 80 m.p.h., were realigned and recanted to adapt them for 90 m.p.h. and more, [...].

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Verb edit

recant

  1. gerund of recar