Supposing you are designing a chatting App and would like to add this feature which allows a user to "unsend"/take back a message after sending it out. What is the best choice of word to describe it?

I saw from an popular App that they use "recall" and I feel it is a misuse. Personally I would go with "revoke" but somehow it seems too formal.

Could anyone advise? Thank you!

  • 1
    Revoke seems like it applies more to a privilege/permission than to an act. Recall would be a viable option, cancel is as well, but very commonly used as well. Annul is certainly not correct either. Unsend, cancel transmission, cancel message, recall message, etc. could all work. May 28 '15 at 14:39
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    Recall is just fine: to cancel, take back, or revoke : thefreedictionary.com/recall . Text Message Recall tigertext.com/text-message-recall
    – user66974
    May 28 '15 at 14:42
  • Thank you @Josh61 for the quick reply. But according to Oxford Dicctionaries, recall=revoke is somehow archaic. And to a non-native speaker (i.e. me), recall sounds like someone is not to take back the message but actually to remind others of this message (once you unsend it, it appears on the chatting window that "you've recalled a message"). May 28 '15 at 14:57
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    Gmail has an Undo function. When you send an email, you get a success message to the tune of "Message Sent". If you have the Undo function turned on, it reads "Message Sent Undo" and gives you the ability to "unsend" the message.
    – VampDuc
    May 28 '15 at 17:07
  • The options offered already are better, but if you'd like another one maybe withdraw would work.
    – Lucky
    May 29 '15 at 4:35

Recall seems to work fine, if not a bit clinical. Revoke not only sounds formal, but also has a harsher connotation, surrounding permission (which may be an interesting design implementation). Why not simply unsend?

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