Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Borrowed from Old French recours, from Latin recursus, past participle of recurrō.



recourse (countable and uncountable, plural recourses)

  1. The act of seeking assistance or advice.
    • 1678, Nathaniel Wanley, The Wonders of the Little World
      Thus dyed this great Peer in the thirty sixth year of his age compleat, and three days over, in a time of great recourse unto him, and dependence upon him
    • 1670, John Dryden, Tyrannick Love, or, The Royal Martyr
      Our last recourse is, therefore, to your art.
    • 1912: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes, Chapter 12
      Tarzan would have liked to subdue the ugly beast without recourse to knife or arrows. So much had his great strength and agility increased in the period following his maturity that he had come to believe that he might master the redoubtable Terkoz in a hand to hand fight were it not for the terrible advantage the anthropoid's huge fighting fangs gave him over the poorly armed Tarzan.
    • 1929, M. Barnard Eldershaw, A House Is Built, chapter VIII, section ii:
      Nor were the wool prospects much better. The pastoral industry, which had weathered the severe depression of the early forties by recourse to boiling down the sheep for their tallow, and was now firmly re-established as the staple industry of the colony, was threatened once more with eclipse.
  2. (obsolete) A coursing back, or coursing again; renewed course; return; retreat; recurrence.
    • (Can we date this quote by Spenser and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      swift recourse of flushing blood
    • (Can we date this quote by Brown and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      Preventive physic [] preventeth sickness in the healthy, or the recourse thereof in the valetudinary.
  3. (obsolete) Access; admittance.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



recourse (third-person singular simple present recourses, present participle recoursing, simple past and past participle recoursed)

  1. (obsolete) To return; to recur.
    • 1563, John Foxe, “Martyrdom of Thomas Bilney”, in Actes and Monuments:
      [] the flame departing and recoursing thrice ere the wood took strength to be sharper to consume []
  2. (obsolete) To have recourse; to resort.
    • (Can we find and add a quotation of Bishop Hacket to this entry?)