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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A tendency to recidivate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Committing new offenses after being punished for a crime.
  • n. Chronic repetition of criminal or other antisocial behavior.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The state or quality of being recidivous; relapse

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Relapse into crime; the conduct or condition of a recidivist.

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

  • n. habitual relapse into crime


From recidivist, one who recidivates, from French récidiviste, from récidiver, to relapse, from Medieval Latin recidīvāre, from Latin recidīvus, falling back, from recidere, to fall back : re-, re- + cadere, to fall.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • repeated or habitual relapse, as into crime.

    March 18, 2009