1580s, "to bring back by calling upon," from re- "back, again, to a former state" + call (v.); in some cases a loan-translation of French rappeler (see repeal (v.)) or Latin revocare (see revoke). Sense of "bring back to memory" is from 1610s. A Latin-Germanic hybrid. Related: Recalled; recalling.
1650s, "act of recalling to mind," from recall (v.). In U.S. politics, "removal of an elected official," 1902.