English Dictionary

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recusant (ˈrɛkjʊzənt Pronunciation for recusant



  1. (in 16th to 18th century England) a Roman Catholic who did not attend the services of the Church of England, as was required by law
  2. any person who refuses to submit to authority


  1. (formerly, of Catholics) refusing to attend services of the Church of England
  2. refusing to submit to authority

Derived Forms

ˈrecusance, ˈrecusancy noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin recūsāns refusing, from recūsāre from re- + causārī to dispute, from causa a cause

Example Sentences Including 'recusant'

Catholic England no longer had any time for the recusant tradition which I had been taught to revere during my youth.
Seward, Desmond The Dancing Sun
It is an obvious place to lie low, I thought, as I cowered in the priest's hole: evidence of the mansion's recusant past.
Independent (1999)


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