1. Unfaithful or disloyal to a belief, duty, or cause: "Consider the man who stands by his duty and goes to the stake rather than be recreant to it" (Mark Twain).
2. Archaic Craven or cowardly.
1. A faithless or disloyal person.
2. Archaic A coward.
[Middle English recreaunt, defeated, from Old French recreant, present participle of recroire, to yield in a trial by combat, surrender allegiance, from Medieval Latin recrēdere, to yield, pledge : Latin re-, re- + Latin crēdere, to believe; see kerd- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
recre·ance, recre·an·cy n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.