Recant vs recount

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Recant and recount are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation and may be considered confusables. We will examine the different meanings of the confusables recant and recount, the word origins of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

Recant means to repudiate something one has stated or to renounce something one had originally endorsed. For instance, someone who gave a statement to police and then admitted that his statement had been false, is said to recant. Recant is an intransitive verb, which is a verb that does not take an object. Related words are recants, recanted, recanting. The word recant is derived from the Latin word, recantare, which means to revoke.

Recount may mean to count again or the amount that has been counted again, or it may mean to give an account or to narrate a story or incident or the narration of the account or incident. Recount may be used as a noun or as a transitive verb, which is a verb that takes an object. Related words are recounts, recounted, recounting; the word recount to mean to give an account is derived from the Old French word, reconter, which means to tell again.


The attorney for a Lima man charged with assaulting his girlfriend on Tuesday expressed concerns that the woman will recant statements made to police surrounding the incident. (Lima News)

Some soldiers on Friday invaded some communities in the Yewa-North Local Government Area of Ogun State and forced the victims to recant torture allegation against them. (Punch Newspapers)

The first day of the court-ordered recount started at 9 a.m. and concluded at 4:50 p.m. (Press of Atlantic City)

On Tuesday, at the first congressional hearing to investigate the January 6 Capitol insurrection, officers who defended the building that day recounted in their own words harrowing scenes of violence and the trauma they’ve continued to endure. (Mother Jones Magazine)