The tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend.
1863, from French récidiviste, from récidiver “to fall back, relapse,” from Medieval Latin recidivare “to relapse into sin,” from Latin recidivus “falling back,” from recidere “fall back,” from re- “back, again” (see re-) + comb.
“The new court system has been successful in reducing recidivism.”
Originally: a bald head; a bald-headed person. In later use also: a pitiable, lowly, or foolish person; a shabby or unkempt person. Frequently used without article, as though a proper name.
Early 16th century; earliest use found in John Skelton (c1460–1529), poet. In some forms apparently partly from pilled + garlic and partly from peeled + garlic; in some forms apparently partly from pill + garlic and partly from peel + garlic.