1. Unfaithful or disloyal to a belief, duty, or cause.
2. Craven or cowardly.
1. A faithless or disloyal person.
2. A coward.
From Fr. recroire "to yield in a trial by combat, surrender allegiance," which is perhaps from "take back one's pledge, yield one's cause," from re- "again, back" + croire "entrust, believe," from L. credere.
Similar in etymology to the more commonly used "miscreant"; "mis"; wrongly and "credere"; to believe.
1642: First usage as "unfaithful to duty"
c1400. First recorded usage as a noun "one who yields in combat, coward, faint-hearted person" .
c.1300 Used adjectively to mean "confessing oneself to be overcome or vanquished," from O.Fr. recreant "yielding, giving,"
Despite his overwhelming fear the Cowardly Lion stood stalwart at Dorothy's side, proving to himself he was not quite the recreant he had always considered himself to be.