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recusant

Someone who refuses to participate in a socially expected activity (especially when they decline to go to church) is a recusant.

Between the 16th and 18th centuries, anyone who broke church rules by refusing to attend services would be labeled a recusant by the Church of England. Today, a recusant might defy authority in other ways: "Once again, the recusants ignored my instructions to get in line after recess." Or use the word as an adjective, like when your recusant brother refuses to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. The Latin root is recusare, "decline, refuse, or reject."

Definitions of recusant
  1. noun
    someone who refuses to conform to established standards of conduct
    synonyms: nonconformist
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    Antonyms:
    conformist
    someone who conforms to established standards of conduct (especially in religious matters)
    types:
    show 5 types...
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    beat, beatnik
    a member of the beat generation; a nonconformist in dress and behavior
    bohemian
    a nonconformist writer or artist who lives an unconventional life
    enfant terrible
    a person whose unconventional behavior embarrasses others
    heretic
    a person who holds unorthodox opinions in any field (not merely religion)
    maverick, rebel
    someone who exhibits great independence in thought and action
    type of:
    contestant, dissenter, dissident, objector, protester
    a person who dissents from some established policy
  2. adjective
    (of Catholics) refusing to attend services of the Church of England
    synonyms: dissentient
    unorthodox
    breaking with convention or tradition
  3. adjective
    refusing to submit to authority
    “"the recusant electors...cooperated in electing a new Senate"- Mary W.Williams”
    Synonyms:
    disobedient
    not obeying or complying with commands of those in authority
Word Family
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