Try Our Apps
Dictionary.com

follow Dictionary.com

2017 Word of the Year

recess

[ri-ses, ree-ses] /rɪˈsɛs, ˈri sɛs/
noun
1.
temporary withdrawal or cessation from the usual work or activity.
2.
a period of such withdrawal.
3.
a receding part or space, as a bay or alcove in a room.
4.
an indentation in a line or extent of coast, hills, forest, etc.
5.
recesses, a secluded or inner area or part:
in the recesses of the palace.
verb (used with object)
6.
to place or set in a recess.
7.
to set or form as or like a recess; make a recess or recesses in:
to recess a wall.
8.
to suspend or defer for a recess:
to recess the Senate.
verb (used without object)
9.
to take a recess.
Origin of recess
1510-1520
1510-20; < Latin recessus a withdrawal, receding part, equivalent to recēd(ere) to recede1 + -tus suffix of v. action, with dt > ss
Related forms
nonrecess, noun
Synonyms
1. respite, rest, break, vacation.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for recess
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then she went with Rico to school and back again, and in recess they were also together.

    Rico and Wiseli Johanna Spyri
  • At every recess hour the forces gathered for the exciting sport.

  • I only hope he's not in that recess or deep doorway now, if it leads into your mountain.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • It was recess and the campus was overflowing with boys and girls, but Pat was alone.

    The Widow O'Callaghan's Boys Gulielma Zollinger
  • On either side a recess in the wall had been fitted up as a couch.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
British Dictionary definitions for recess

recess

noun (rɪˈsɛs; ˈriːsɛs)
1.
a space, such as a niche or alcove, set back or indented
2.
(often pl) a secluded or secret place: recesses of the mind
3.
a cessation of business, such as the closure of Parliament during a vacation
4.
(anatomy) a small cavity or depression in a bodily organ, part, or structure
5.
(US & Canadian) a break between classes at a school
verb (rɪˈsɛs)
6.
(transitive) to place or set (something) in a recess
7.
(transitive) to build a recess or recesses in (a wall, building, etc)
Word Origin
C16: from Latin recessus a retreat, from recēdere to recede
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for recess
n.

1530s, "act of receding," from Latin recessus "a going back, retreat," from recessum, past participle of recedere "to recede" (see recede). Meaning "hidden or remote part" first recorded 1610s; that of "period of stopping from usual work" is from 1620s, probably from parliamentary notion of "recessing" into private chambers.

v.

1809, from recess (n.). Related: Recessed; recessing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
recess in Medicine

recess re·cess (rē'sěs', rĭ-sěs')
n.
A small hollow or an indented area.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for recess

Word Value for recess

8
9
Scrabble Words With Friends