- British. a tax, assessment, or lien.
- (in Scotland) a land tax.
- (in Ireland) a military assessment.
- (in India) an import or sales tax on a commodity.
- British. to tax; assess.
Origin of cess1
1400–50; late Middle English; aphetic variant of obsolete assess assessment, noun use of assess (v.)
- luck (usually used in the expression bad cess to): Bad cess to them!
Origin of cess2
First recorded in 1855–60; perhaps aphetic variant of success
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for cess
They say he has the taxes, too, in his power, and can cess you just as he likes.The Martins Of Cro' Martin, Vol. II (of II)
Charles James Lever
And there was the story about choosing the collector of the cess--'Guy Mannering, or The Astrologer, Complete, Illustrated
Sir Walter Scott
That trunk went to Astoria instead of the Astor House, bad 'cess to it, and that's about as far apart as it could git.Felix O'Day
F. Hopkinson Smith
Pour moi votre royaut a cess dtre politique et maintenant est historique; ma rpublique ne sen inquite pas.Chantilly in History and Art
Louise M. Richter
The payment of cess for maintaining soldiers was the most grievous of burdens.Ireland Under the Tudors, Vol. II (of 3)
- British any of several special taxes, such as a land tax in Scotland
- (formerly, in Ireland)
- the obligation to provide the soldiers and household of the lord deputy with supplies at fixed prices
- any military exaction
- (tr) British to tax or assess for taxation
- (formerly in Ireland) to impose (soldiers) upon a population, to be supported by them
C16: short for assessment
- an Irish slang word for luck bad cess to you!
C19: probably from cess 1 (sense 2)
- short for cesspool
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for cess
"tax, levy," 1530s, short for assess (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper