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The Collaborative International Dictionary

recuse \re*cuse"\ (r?*k?z"), v. t. [F. r['e]cuser, or L. recusare. See Recusant.] (Law) To refuse or reject, as a judge; to challenge that the judge shall not try the cause. [Obs.]
--Sir K. Digby.


recuse \re*cuse"\ (r?*k?z"), v. i. To withdraw oneself from serving as a judge or other decision-maker in order to avoid a real or apparent conflict of interest; -- often used with the reflexive; as, the judge recused himself due to a financial interest in the matter.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., "to reject another's authority as prejudiced," from Old French recuser (13c.), from Latin recusare "make an objection against; decline, refuse, reject; be reluctant to," from re- (see re-) + causa (see cause (n.)). Specifically, in law, "reject or challenge (a judge or juror) as disqualified to act." The word now is used mostly reflectively. Related: Recused; recusing.


vb. 1 (context transitive English) To refuse or reject (''a judge''); to declare that the judge shall not try the case or is disqualified to act. 2 (context intransitive of a judge English) To refuse to act as a judge; to declare oneself disqualified to act.

  1. v. disqualify oneself (as a judge, for example) in a particular case

  2. challenge or except to a judge as being incompetent or interested, in canon and civil law

Usage examples of "recuse".

I had such a miserable experience at the J-School, I decided to recuse myself from political journalism entirely.

And if somebody senior really interferes, then you recuse yourself and hand it over to him and then it becomes his investigation.

She knew the judge advocate she asked to monitor the transaction would have to recuse himself from the subsequent court-martial, so she picked one she knew the prosecutors hated.

Clarissa recused herself from the Grice matter because of the potential appearance of a conflict.

That must have been the appeal from which Clarissa had recused herself.

The judge told me that she will enter an order recusing herself from the matter.

She hadn't recused herself from Feaver's cases because she would have expired if she were ever called upon to explain the reasons to the Presiding Judge.

In its ruling remanding the petition to Burnett, the state Supreme Court had rejected Mallett’s contention that the judge should have recused himself from the Rule 37 proceedings.

He's recused himself as a lower court judge and from taking any part in the prosecution or the defense"

You really should have recused yourself and seen to it that any papers were drawn up by a neutral attorney.

It was a one-paragraph order, signed by Judge Karl Huskey, in which he, upon his own motion, recused himself in the matter of State versus Patrick S.