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verb (used without object), re·ced·ed, re·ced·ing.
  1. to go or move away; retreat; go to or toward a more distant point; withdraw.
  2. to become more distant.
  3. (of a color, form, etc., on a flat surface) to move away or be perceived as moving away from an observer, especially as giving the illusion of space.Compare advance(def 15).
  4. to slope backward: a chin that recedes.
  5. to draw back or withdraw from a conclusion, viewpoint, undertaking, promise, etc.
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Origin of recede

1470–80; < Latin recēdere to go, fall back, equivalent to re- re- + cēdere to withdraw, go; see cede
Can be confusedrecede reseed

Synonyms for recede

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verb (used with object), re·ced·ed, re·ced·ing.
  1. to cede back; yield or grant to a former possessor.
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Origin of recede

First recorded in 1765–75; re- + cede
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for recede

reduce, fade, ebb, wane, dwindle, lessen, taper, subside, decrease, sink, abate, diminish, shrink, retreat, retrogress, decline, retire, return, depart, drop

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British Dictionary definitions for recede


verb (intr)
  1. to withdraw from a point or limit; go backthe tide receded
  2. to become more distanthopes of rescue receded
  3. to slope backwardsapes have receding foreheads
    1. (of a man's hair) to cease to grow at the temples and above the forehead
    2. (of a man) to start to go bald in this way
  4. to decline in value or character
  5. (usually foll by from) to draw back or retreat, as from a promise
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Word Origin for recede

C15: from Latin recēdere to go back, from re- + cēdere to yield, cede
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 recede


early 15c., from Middle French receder, from Latin recedere "to go back, fall back; withdraw, depart, retire," from re- "back" (see re-) + cedere "to go" (see cede). Related: Receded; receding.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper