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90s Slang You Should Know


[ri-ses, ree-ses] /rɪˈsɛs, ˈri sɛs/
temporary withdrawal or cessation from the usual work or activity.
a period of such withdrawal.
a receding part or space, as a bay or alcove in a room.
an indentation in a line or extent of coast, hills, forest, etc.
recesses, a secluded or inner area or part:
in the recesses of the palace.
verb (used with object)
to place or set in a recess.
to set or form as or like a recess; make a recess or recesses in:
to recess a wall.
to suspend or defer for a recess:
to recess the Senate.
verb (used without object)
to take a recess.
Origin of recess
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
1. respite, rest, break, vacation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for recessed
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The doorway of Malmesbury Church has eight arches, recessed one within the other.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • Then there is the recessed altar-tomb of his son, also John, who died in 1585.

  • This base is recessed on top to receive the main plate A, Fig. 24, and also to hold the glass shade N in position.

  • On the south wall are the recessed tombs of four of their younger sons.

    Portuguese Architecture Walter Crum Watson
  • Preparations made, Edipon went into the recessed doorway and pulled a concealing curtain over it.

    The Ethical Engineer Henry Maxwell Dempsey
  • Their round, dark eyes, deeply recessed, were caverns of despair.

    The Infra-Medians Sewell Peaslee Wright
  • It was really a sideboard with small square doors below, and a recessed superstructure supported upon balusters.

  • Windows in the facade are unique in that they are set into recessed brick frames.

    Huntley Tony P. Wrenn
  • At one side, and opposite to where they stood, was a recessed chamber containing what appeared to be very powerful machinery.

    A. D. 2000 Alvarado M. Fuller
British Dictionary definitions for recessed


noun (rɪˈsɛs; ˈriːsɛs)
a space, such as a niche or alcove, set back or indented
(often pl) a secluded or secret place: recesses of the mind
a cessation of business, such as the closure of Parliament during a vacation
(anatomy) a small cavity or depression in a bodily organ, part, or structure
(US & Canadian) a break between classes at a school
verb (rɪˈsɛs)
(transitive) to place or set (something) in a recess
(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
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Word Origin and History for recessed



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



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.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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recessed in Medicine

recess re·cess (rē'sěs', rĭ-sěs')
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.
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