February 12, 2019
recant (verb)
\rih-KANT\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to take back publicly an opinion or belief
How do you use it?
"This was very wonderful if it were true; and Lady Russell was in a state of very agreeable curiosity and perplexity about Mr. Elliot, already recanting the sentiment she had so lately expressed to Mary, of his being ‘a man whom she had no wish to see.' She had a great wish to see him." (Jane Austen, _Persuasion_)
Are you a word wiz?

There are several others words you can use to convey the idea of withdrawing your word or belief. Which of the following words do you think means about the same thing as "recant"?

"Abjure," "renounce," "recant," and "retract" mean to withdraw one's word or professed belief. "Abjure" implies a firm and final rejecting or abandoning often made under oath, as in "He abjured his former claim." "Renounce" is quite close to "abjure" but may carry the idea of disclaiming or disowning, as in "She renounced her interest in abstract art." "Recant" stresses the withdrawing or denying of something professed or taught, for example, "She recanted only after much pressure." And "retract" applies to the withdrawing of a promise, an offer, or an accusation, as in "They retracted allegations against the candidate."
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