I was reading an article that included the term: decdecirse

y que no termine de comprometer ni de obligar a desdecirse a ninguno de los dos.

I am having trouble understanding how the term is used. The dictionary says 'to be out of keeping with or unworthy of' -- but what is the common usage? Or is it commonly used?

  • 2
    Creo que tu pregunta es muy difícil. No, mejor me desdigo :) Sep 16 '13 at 0:16

des-decir is basically to un-say something, and the particle -se is reflexive. So in short, desdecirse is to take back what you have said, or to retract your own words.

Of the dictionary definitions you give, the first is unintelligible and the second wrong: desdecirse may imply not keeping your word, but it can also be used when you simply amend what you said for the sake of accuracy.

  • plus one for your basic definition. In the usage I've seen, desmentir generally applies to somebody else's words while desdecirse generaly applies to one's own. Sep 16 '13 at 13:11
  • @WalterMitty what you say about desmentir and Desdecir is not correct. If you check in the RAE you can see that desmentir is the first definition of desdecir. However, Desmentir is when you are certain they lied, desdecir could be used just referring to the fact the person is taking back his words, not necessarily because the person lied. But in general has a negative connotation.
    – Dzyann
    Sep 17 '13 at 1:03
  • Note that I said "in the usage I've seen". That was intended to distinguish my impression form a formal definition. Sep 17 '13 at 11:58
  • The most common meaning of "desdecir" is to retract, from your answer. We're really saying the same thing. Sep 17 '13 at 12:05

I am not sure where you got that definition from. But if you check on the rae: desdecir You can see the definitions in spanish.

You can see the first definition is "desmentir", which it is similar to deny. Basically someone denies something that was said or done, proving that it is not true.

The most common meaning of "desdecir" is to retract. That is how most people use it. It has a negative connotation though. It means someone said something and afterwards backed on his words, but basically because they knew they were not telling the truth. Maybe you made a promise, or said something to get some benefit. But then when someone puts you on the spot, for example they want you do do what you promised, you retract yourself. You say "I never said that" or something like that. Or "You misunderstood me".

I checked on internet and it seems that you got your sentence from this article.

Basically the guy is saying things are developing into a critical point that will force both parties to "desdecir" themselves, basically tell the truth, to deny what they have said, to their people in this case. To retract themselves.

As you can seen in his previous words

podamos retomar esa sana forma de no entendernos y de ir cada uno por su lado que tan ensayada tenemos y que consiste en decirles tú a los tuyos lo que quieren escuchar, yo a los míos otro tanto,

He is saying that each of them tells to their people what their people want to hear. Which it is not necessarily the truth. He is asking the other guy to give him something, or the situation will compromise them both and force them to deny, go back on their words: tell the truth about when they lied, tell what promises they made in vane and such.

I hope this helps, tell me if you need any more details.

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