backslider vs recidivist what difference

what is difference between backslider and recidivist



From backslide +‎ -er.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈbakslaɪdə/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈbækslaɪdəɹ/


backslider (plural backsliders)

  1. A recidivist; one who backslides, especially in a religious sense; an apostate.
    • 1888, Rudyard Kipling, ‘The Judgement of Dungara’, Black and White, Folio Society 2004, vol. 1, p. 382:
      At night the Red Elephant Tusk boomed and groaned among the hills, and the faithful waked and said: ‘The God of Things as They Are matures revenge against the backsliders.’
    • 2009, Andrew F. Cooper, “Confronting Vulnerability through Resilient Diplomacy: Antigua and the WTO Internet Gambling Dispute with the United States” in Andrew F. Cooper and Timothy M. Shaw (eds.), The Diplomacies of Small States: Between Vulnerability and Resilience, Palgrave Macmillan, p. 216,
      The choice of unilateralism by the US also exposed it to charges that it is a backslider on its WTO commitments.
    • 2012, Brian Bethune, “Two against one: About coupledom and the stigma of being single” in Maclean’s, 20 June, 2012, [1]
      You say that you “lapse into coupledom” on occasion. Do you get grief from fellow militant singles for being a backslider?
    She married him thinking to change his ways, and for a while he got religion, but he was ever a backslider; she soon began finding bottles stashed about the house.


  • blackrides



From French récidiviste, from Latin recidīvus (returning, recurring). Compare recidivous, -ist.


  • (weak vowel distinction) IPA(key): /ɹɪˈsɪdɪvɪst/
  • (weak vowel merger) IPA(key): /ɹɪˈsɪdəvɪst/


recidivist (plural recidivists)

  1. One who falls back into prior habits, especially criminal habits.
    Synonym: repeat offender
    • 1914, R. Austin Freeman, The Uttermost Farthing, ch. 2:
      This specimen was of English parentage, was a professional burglar, a confirmed recidivist, and—since he habitually carried firearms—a potential homicide.

Derived terms

  • recidivistic

Related terms




From French récidiviste


recidivist m (plural recidiviști)

  1. recidivist


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