from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Obstinate refusal or opposition.
  • noun The state of being a recusant.
  • noun The tenets of the recusants, or adherence to those tenets.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The state of being recusant; nonconformity.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Obstinate refusal or opposition.
  • noun The state of being a recusant; nonconformity.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun refusal to submit to established authority; originally the refusal of Roman Catholics to attend services of the Church of England


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The High Commission court now began to take cognisance of what was called recusancy, or the refusal to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy; it also encouraged informations against such as refrained from joining in the established worship; and numerous professors of the old religion, both ecclesiastics and laity, were summoned on one account or other before this tribunal.

    Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth

  • "And wasn't it -- I've heard the story, but I'm a bit hazy about it -- wasn't it owing to your -- is 'recusancy' the word?

    My Friend Prospero

  • The University of Hull in Britain, who keep archives related to the family, note that the Constables became one of the leading landowning families of Yorkshire in the 16th century but that their family wealth was compromised in the mid 17th century due to the recusancy fines they were subject to.

    The Constable Family of Everingham and the Catholic Chapel of Ss. Mary and Everilda

  • If the purpose of history is the latter, Elizabeth I should be called “Bloody Bess” because torture, hanging, drawing and quartering are not humane ways of dealing with recusancy and dissent either.

    Archive 2009-07-01

  • Shakespeare's family was almost certainly Catholic, or at least did not attend Church of England services both his father and his daughter, Susanna were fined for recusancy, and Shakespeare might have always been sympathetic to Catholicism, and he might have returned to his family's faith at his death, and we can certainly pray that he did, but I would still shy away from declaring he was a Catholic, for the sake of historical accuracy.

    The Myth of Lady Jane

  • Of course, by 1744, the employer was probably protestant, but I have to tell you that there was a strong suspicion of Catholicism/recusancy about the Mossendews originally Maisondieuwho were emigrees from France at various points in history.

    Nicholas Breakspeare RIP

  • The playing company and its hosts were denounced for recusancy to the Star Chamber.

    Shakespeare and the Uses of Power

  • Elizabeth for harbouring of priests, obstinate recusancy, and popish misdoings.

    Vanity Fair

  • "Driven from York, where he held a judicial post, hunted from place to place, penniless through fines for recusancy, he was ordained a priest at Rome in 1581, after the death of his wife."

    08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003

  • Would he have wished that she should at once have given herself up without one maidenly scruple, one word of feminine recusancy?

    Lady Anna


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