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Borrowed from Old French recours, from Latin recursus, past participle of recurrō.



recourse (countable and uncountable, plural recourses)

  1. The act of seeking assistance or advice.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Sir H. Wotton
      Thus died this great peer, in a time of great recourse unto him and dependence upon him.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Dryden
      Our last recourse is therefore to our art.
    • 1912: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes, Chapter 12
      Tarzan would have liked to subdue the ugly beast without recourse to knife or arrows. So much had his great strength and agility increased in the period following his maturity that he had come to believe that he might master the redoubtable Terkoz in a hand to hand fight were it not for the terrible advantage the anthropoid's huge fighting fangs gave him over the poorly armed Tarzan.
    • 1929, M. Barnard Eldershaw, A House Is Built, chapter VIII, section ii:
      Nor were the wool prospects much better. The pastoral industry, which had weathered the severe depression of the early forties by recourse to boiling down the sheep for their tallow, and was now firmly re-established as the staple industry of the colony, was threatened once more with eclipse.
  2. (obsolete) A coursing back, or coursing again; renewed course; return; retreat; recurrence.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Spenser
      swift recourse of flushing blood
    • (Can we date this quote?) Sir Thomas Browne
      Preventive physic [] preventeth sickness in the healthy, or the recourse thereof in the valetudinary.
  3. (obsolete) Access; admittance.

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recourse (third-person singular simple present recourses, present participle recoursing, simple past and past participle recoursed)

  1. (obsolete) To return; to recur.
    • 1563, Foxe, John, “Martyrdom of Thomas Bilney”, in Actes and Monuments:
      [] the flame departing and recoursing thrice ere the wood took strength to be sharper to consume []
  2. (obsolete) To have recourse; to resort.
    • (Can we find and add a quotation of Bishop Hacket to this entry?)