[ri-ses, ree-ses]


verb (used with object)

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 formsnon·re·cess, noun

Synonyms for recess Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for recess

Contemporary Examples of recess

Historical Examples of recess

  • 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.

  • 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


noun (rɪˈsɛs, ˈriːsɛs)

a space, such as a niche or alcove, set back or indented
(often plural) a secluded or secret placerecesses 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 and Canadian a break between classes at a school

verb (rɪˈsɛs)

(tr) to place or set (something) in a recess
(tr) to build a recess or recesses in (a wall, building, etc)

Word Origin for recess

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

Word Origin and History for recess

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

recess in Medicine


[rēsĕs′, rĭ-sĕs]


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.