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See also: re-call


Alternative forms[edit]


From re- +‎ call, probably modelled on Latin revocāre, French rappeler, English withcall.




recall (third-person singular simple present recalls, present participle recalling, simple past and past participle recalled)

  1. (transitive) To withdraw, retract (one's words etc.); to revoke (an order). [from 16th c.]
    Synonyms: withcall; see also Thesaurus:recant
  2. (transitive) To call back, bring back or summon (someone) to a specific place, station etc. [from 16th c.]
    He was recalled to service after his retirement.
    She was recalled to London for the trial.
    • 2011 October 29, Phil McNulty, “Chelsea 3 - 5 Arsenal”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Fernando Torres was recalled in place of the suspended Didier Drogba and he was only denied a goal in the opening seconds by Laurent Koscielny's intervention - a moment that set the tone for game filled with attacking quality and littered with errors.
  3. (transitive, US politics) To remove an elected official through a petition and direct vote.
    • 2021 February 19, Nellie Bowles, “Hurt by Lockdowns, California’s Small Businesses Push to Recall Governor”, in The New York Times[2], →ISSN:
      That stop-start-stop has created a groundswell of anger toward Mr. Newsom, a Democrat in the third year of his first term, that is increasingly fueling a movement to recall him from office in one of the bluest of blue states.
  4. (transitive) To bring back (someone) to or from a particular mental or physical state, activity etc. [from 16th c.]
  5. (transitive) To call back (a situation, event etc.) to one's mind; to remember, recollect. [from 16th c.]
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus, published 2010, page 10:
      In fact, I hardly recall any occasion as a child when I was alone.
  6. (transitive, intransitive) To call again, to call another time. [from 17th c.]
  7. (transitive) To request or order the return of (a faulty product). [from 20th c.]



recall (countable and uncountable, plural recalls)

  1. The action or fact of calling someone or something back.
    1. Request of the return of a faulty product.
      recall campaign
    2. (chiefly US politics) The right or procedure by which a public official may be removed from office before the end of their term of office, by a vote of the people to be taken on the filing of a petition signed by a required number or percentage of qualified voters.
      recall petition
      representative recall
    3. (US politics) The right or procedure by which the decision of a court may be directly reversed or annulled by popular vote, as was advocated, in 1912, in the platform of the Progressive Party for certain cases involving the police power of the state.
  2. Memory; the ability to remember.
    • 1959 June, A. G. Dunbar, “The "Cardeans" of the Caledonian”, in Trains Illustrated, page 310:
      One little-known incident in No. 49's life is worth recall.
  3. (information retrieval, machine learning) The fraction of (all) relevant material that is returned by a search.
    Synonym: sensitivity
    precision and recall

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading[edit]




recall m (plural recalls)

  1. recall (return of faulty products)