The Meaning of Recuse: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of recuse? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word recuse, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word recuse mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, Shabdkosh and the American Heritage Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word recuse is a verb that means to abstain from being involved in decisions about a legal case because they are biased or have a conflict of interest of the presiding court official or administrative officer. For the canons of ethics and the fairness of the proceedings, this official action is taken of judicial disqualification for the fairness of the given proceeding. The legal proceeding decision-maker can choose to recuse if there is an apparent conflict on interest with the applicable statuses. Recuse is two syllables – re-cuse, and the pronunciation of recuse is re-kyo͞o-zə, or for recusal (re-cuse-sal), re-kyo͞o-zəl.

The word recuse can also be used more generally. If someone is unfit to do something because of a conflict of interest, they can recuse. For example, if someone has a sibling that is teaching a class at Princeton University, they cannot grade that student’s paper because according to the collection of rules it is a bias. They cannot provide them with any sort of flashcards, quizzes, or testing material and may not even be allowed to teach them or have ethem register for the class. This can be a great problem in many a civilization and industry. A professional athlete cannot be coached by a judge from the Olympics.  No sort of personal prejudice can exist in law and many other industries under jurisprudence. Even potential prejudice or personal interest are avoided in civil law by anyone from a local judge to attorney general. A juror might even refuse participation in court cases because of partiality or conflict of interest.

Many different languages use words that mean recuse (rɪˈkjuːz). You may notice that some of these words look very similar to one another. These are called cognates, which are words and phrases that look and sound similar while retaining the same meaning between languages. These are often formed when two words have the same root or language of origin like Latin or Greek. This list of translations of recuse is provided by Word Sense. Try to memorize a translation of recuse!

  •  Finnish: jäävätä itsensä
  •  Greek: αυτοεξαιρούμαι‎
  •  German: wegen Befangenheit ablehnen‎
  •  French: récuser‎
  •  Persian: رفع صلاحیت کردن‎ (raf’-e salâhiyat kardan)
  •  Russian: отводиться‎, отка́зываться‎ от‎ участие

What is the origin of the word recuse?

According to Etymonline, the word recuse has been used since late c14 Middle English recusen and recuse. This comes from the Middle French recuser, Old French recuser, a c13 word, and the Latin recusare/Latin recūsāre. This comes from the root re and causa. The word is now mostly used as a reflexive. One can add the suffixes ed, ing, tive, al, es and ant to form the related words recused, recusing, recisative, recusal and recusant. These are in different tenses including the present tense, past participle and more. 

How can the word recuse be used in a sentence?

There are many different ways that the word recuse can be used in a sentence. Using words in a sentence is a great way to add them to your vocabulary and remember their definition. You can also try making quizzes or flashcards for yourself to test your knowledge of these different English words. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today. Below are a few different examples of using the word recuse in a sentence to help get you started using this word. 

She had to recuse from helping him get his journal published because of her conflict of interest in her association to the  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 

She ended up having to recuse from the case due to her applicable statuses. The court felt that it was a conflict of interest and they could not let her participate in the jury. She was disappointed, because she was excited to finally have been chosen for a jury.

I had to recuse myself from taking my parents class in high school because the school believed it to be a conflict of interest. I ended up having to take a different English class and get help from my dad’s studying for the advanced placement exam independently. 

What are synonyms and antonyms of recuse?

There are many different words that a person can use in place of the word recuse, which are called synonyms in the English language. Learning synonyms is useful as a means by which to expand your vocabulary and avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms for the word recuse is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  retreat
  •  dismiss
  •  deny
  •  recusing
  •  disqualifying
  •  avenge
  •  demanding situation
  •  rejected
  •  abstaining
  •  recusation
  •  disqualification
  •  abstain
  •  challenging
  •  disqualified
  •  repellent
  •  disagrees
  •  reject
  •  ineligibility
  •  exclude
  •  withdrawal
  •  recusal
  •  withdraw
  •  disqualify
  •  repudiate
  •  retire
  •  recused
  •  challenge
  •  refuse
  •  refusing
  •  avoid
  •  avoided

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of recuse. These opposite words are called antonyms, which are another quick and easy way to expand your vocabulary. This list of antonyms of recuse is also provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  let
  •  recognize
  •  admit
  •  acknowledge
  •  accept
  •  approve
  •  bear
  •  give the nod
  •  stay
  •  empower
  •  concentrate
  •  permit
  •  come to terms with
  •  provide
  •  implore
  •  engage
  •  try
  •  endorse
  •  embrace
  •  advance
  •  allow
  •  sanction
  •  tolerate

Overall, the word recuse means to refuse something based on an apparent conflict of interest or applicable statuses, esp. In legal settings. The present participle of recuse is recusing and has been used in law since c19. 


  1. recuse: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. Recuse Antonyms – 31 Words and Phrases for Recuse | Power Thesaurus 
  3. Recuse synonyms – 31 Words and Phrases for Recuse | Power Thesaurus  
  4. recuse | Origin and meaning of recuse | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  5. Recuse definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary
  6. recuse – Meaning in Kannada | Shabdkosh