• WordNet 3.6
    • v recant formally reject or disavow a formerly held belief, usually under pressure "He retracted his earlier statements about his religion","She abjured her beliefs"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • v. i Recant To revoke a declaration or proposition; to unsay what has been said; to retract; as, convince me that I am wrong, and I will recant .
    • v. t Recant To withdraw or repudiate formally and publicly (opinions formerly expressed); to contradict, as a former declaration; to take back openly; to retract; to recall. "How soon . . . ease would recant Vows made in pain, as violent and void!"
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • recant To sing over again; utter repeatedly in song.
    • recant To unsay; contradict or withdraw formally (something which one had previously asserted); renounce; disavow; retract: as, to recant one's opinion or profession of faith.
    • recant Synonyms Abjure, Forswear, etc. See renounce.
    • recant To revoke a declaration or proposition; unsay what has been said; renounce or disavow an opinion or a dogma formerly maintained; especially, to announce formally one's abandonment of a religious belief.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Recant rē-kant′ to withdraw (a former declaration): to retract
    • v.i Recant to revoke a former declaration: to unsay what has been said, esp. to declare one's renunciation of a religious belief which one formerly maintained
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  • C. M. Ward
    C. M. Ward
    “No Christian has ever been known to recant on his death bed.”
  • Martin Luther
    “I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God. Amen.”
  • Publilius Syrus
    “A hasty judgment is a first step to recantation.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. recantare, recantatum, to recall, recant; pref. re-, re- + cantare, to sing, to sound. See 3d Cant Chant


In literature:

Some months after they came to Dublin and read their recantation in Dr. Delany's church.
"Lippincott's Magazine, Vol. 20, August 1877" by Various
Three times he refused to recant.
"History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth. Vol. II." by James Anthony Froude
He foresaw no difficulty in the recantation.
"Dreamers of the Ghetto" by I. Zangwill
If any be so bold as to remonstrate to their decisions, they will bring him on his knees to a recantation of his impudence.
"In Praise of Folly Illustrated with Many Curious Cuts" by Desiderius Erasmus
And why was Bruno allowed a week's grace before his execution, except to give him the opportunity of recanting?
"Flowers of Freethought" by George W. Foote
The man who would not recant was not forgiven.
"The Ghosts" by Robert G. Ingersoll
And yet," went on the Colonel with a rueful smile, "they tell me that my friend recanted and deceived me at the last!
"Shadow Mountain" by Dane Coolidge
But the messenger, but Truth, would not recant.
"The Missourian" by Eugene P. (Eugene Percy) Lyle
It is possible that many famous recantations could be accounted for by this hypothesis.
"An Ocean Tramp" by William McFee
No, sir, it would na be worth my while now, for world's gain, to read a recantation.
"Ringan Gilhaize" by John Galt

In poetry:

In every eye a tear-drop stood,
For we accepted it
Reluctantly, but nothing could
Make him recant one bit;
And soon he left for distant parts,
While we were left--with broken hearts.
"Without A Minister" by Hattie Howard
Your Horace owns he various writ,
As wild or sober maggots bit; And where too much the poet ranted,
The sage philosopher recanted.
His grave Epistles may disprove
The wanton Odes he made to love.
"Alma; or, The Progress of the Mind. In Three Cantos. - Canto I." by Matthew Prior

In news:

Underage Elmo sex accuser backpedals on recantation.
The longtime activist says he couldn't recant his beliefs on women's ordination because it would betray his conscience.
WSU's Leach says receiver has ' basically recanted.
After Burritt was arrested and charged , the girl recanted her story and told investigators Burritt did not abuse her.
'Sesame Street' accuser recants charge of child abuse .
Whitmore later recanted the confessions and maintained his innocence, saying police had beaten him and made him sign a confession without knowing what it was.
Accuser recants sex claims against Elmo puppeteer: report.
Elmo's accuser has recanted, but the damage is done.
OROVILLE, Calif.—Prosecutors in Northern California say they plan to pursue charges against a man accused of holding his ex-wife hostage in his attic—even though the woman has recanted the story.
Bush not buying ' hot sauce ' recant from Jets coach Ryan.
Onetime top football prospect exonerated after rape accuser recants.
Bush not buying 'hot sauce' recant from Jets coach Ryan.
We have added an editor's note on Wood's recanted statements and directed readers to our latest story.
But when Hank's wife recanted her initial statement to police, the Metro veteran wasn't arrested.

In science:

He however also presented evidence that the X-ray objects evolve differently with redshift than do the quasars, and in the end concluded (or, as some pointed out, recanted) that any discrepancy might be less than a factor of 2.
Coevolution of Black Holes and Galaxies: Conference Summary
The Compa˜nia de Jesus forbids the teaching of the atomic doctrine. 22nd June 1633, Galileo recants. “Of all the days that was the one / An age of reason could have begun” In the ”Saggiatore”, Galileo had begun to think of physical movement of atoms as the origin of the heat.
Dream of a Christmas lecture