Etymology
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recidivist (n.)

"relapsed criminal," 1863, from French legal term récidiviste (by 1847), 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-) + combining form of cadere "to fall" (from PIE root *kad- "to fall"). As an adjective by 1883.

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Definitions of recidivist

recidivist (n.)
someone who is repeatedly arrested for criminal behavior (especially for the same criminal behavior);
Synonyms: repeater / habitual criminal
recidivist (n.)
someone who lapses into previous undesirable patterns of behavior;
Synonyms: backslider / reversionist
From wordnet.princeton.edu