• WordNet 3.6
    • adj recreant 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"
    • adj recreant having deserted a cause or principle "some provinces had proved recreant","renegade supporters of the usurper"
    • n recreant a disloyal person who betrays or deserts his cause or religion or political party or friend etc.
    • n recreant an abject coward
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Recreant Apostate; false; unfaithful. "Who, for so many benefits received,
      Turned recreant to God, ingrate and false."
    • Recreant Crying for mercy, as a combatant in the trial by battle; yielding; cowardly; mean-spirited; craven. "This recreant knight."
    • n Recreant One who yields in combat, and begs for mercy; a mean-spirited, cowardly wretch. "You are all recreants and dastards!"
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • recreant Ready to yield in fight; acknowledging defeat; hence, craven; cowardly. Compare craven.
    • recreant Unfaithful to duty; betraying trust.
    • n recreant One who yields in combat and cries craven; one who begs for mercy; hence, a meanspirited, cowardly, or unfaithful wretch.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Recreant rek′rē-ant cowardly: false: apostate: renegade
    • n Recreant a mean-spirited wretch: an apostate: a renegade
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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


In literature:

I had rather prove recreant to the oath I took before I realized the worth of the woman whose happiness I vowed to destroy.
"The Circular Study" by Anna Katharine Green
The habit of rectitude would cover him like armor, and proclaim him still of a chivalry to which he felt recreant.
"The Indian On The Trail" by Mary Hartwell Catherwood
Then the soldier felt it his "duty" to punish the recreant one by taking his property.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 11 (of 14)" by Elbert Hubbard
They are seldom recreant to their own blood.
"A Little Girl in Old Quebec" by Amanda Millie Douglas
I must be that one, for she has chosen me, and I will not be so recreant to humanity as to reject her trust.
"Cruel As The Grave" by Mrs. Emma D. E. N. Southworth
Be faithful when others are recreant or hostile.
"Broken Bread from an Evangelist's Wallet" by Thomas Champness
I should be recreant to my conscience, and especially to my State, if I did not answer them here and now.
"A Report of the Debates and Proceedings in the Secret Sessions of the Conference Convention" by Lucius Eugene Chittenden
No Eighty-sixth man will be so recreant to the memories of the past as to forget this day's march.
"History of the Eighty-sixth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Infantry, during its term of service" by John R. Kinnear
It was possible that, when nothing more was to be gained by falsehoods, his recreant friend would clear his fame once for all.
"Sir Walter Ralegh" by William Stebbing
Lemon, with our loves, on her gallant victory over the recreant cabman?
"The Letters of Charles Dickens" by Charles Dickens

In poetry:

Then be not recreant, and
Do not disemble,
And when the crisis comes, like
A coward tremble.
"The Crisis" by Benjamin Cutler Clark
But De Clifford will never a recreant turn,
While the knightly badge on his arm is borne;
And long, beneath the Syrian sun,
He fasted and fought, and glory won.
"Sir Raymond And The False Palmer" by Thomas Cooper
I trust I shall not falter in the race,
Nor with the trothless and the recreant fly,
But fling my weak defiance in His face.
Or bear His swift contempt, and laugh, and die!
"Endeavour" by Robert Steel Byrnes
Love has the waywardness of strange caprice,
One can not chain it to a recreant heart,
Nor, when around the soul its tendrils twine,
Can will the clinging, silken bonds to part.
"Nay, Do Not Ask" by Madge Morris Wagner
This, this is a strange land, we will not then sing
One song of our Zion, the home of our King,
No rather let right hand its cunning forget,
Than we to our loved home as recreants act.
""By the Rivers of Babylon"" by Mary Weston Fordham
With the shrill fool to mock him, Romeo
For thee should lure his love, and desperate fear
Pluck Richard's recreant dagger from its sheath—
Thou trumpet set for Shakespeare's lips to blow!
"Fabien Dei Franchi" by Oscar Wilde

In news:

It's impossible to run or ride 20 feet without calling out to slower recreants.