[ ri-ses, ree-ses ]
See synonyms for: recessrecessedrecesses on

  1. temporary withdrawal or cessation from the usual work or activity.

  2. a period of such withdrawal.

  1. a receding part or space, as a bay or alcove in a room.

  2. an indentation in a line or extent of coast, hills, forest, etc.

  3. recesses, a secluded or inner area or part: in the recesses of the palace.

verb (used with object)
  1. to place or set in a recess.

  2. to set or form as or like a recess; make a recess or recesses in: to recess a wall.

  1. to suspend or defer for a recess: to recess the Senate.

verb (used without object)
  1. 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

Other words for recess

Other words from recess

  • non·re·cess, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use recess in a sentence

  • A federal magistrate in Florida recessed her arraignment hearing until Monday.

    Is Madoff's Family Next? | Allan Dodds Frank | November 18, 2010 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • The bottoms of these mugs have a flange which makes a recessed part and in this the heating element is placed.

  • Cut it to fit into the recessed bottom of the mug, then with a chisel remove the material in the top to form a depression 1/16 in.

  • Looking from the inside, it curves over a slight bit, and then this is recessed.

    Warren Commission (3 of 26): Hearings Vol. III (of 15) | The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • On the right is a recessed window, through which the top of an old grey wall with chevaux-de-frise and foliage above can be seen.

    The Brass Bottle | F. Anstey
  • On the left a recessed fireplace, in which are ferns; on the mantelpiece are some large blue and white beakers and vases.

    The Brass Bottle | F. Anstey

British Dictionary definitions for recess


noun(rɪˈsɛs, ˈriːsɛs)
  1. a space, such as a niche or alcove, set back or indented

  2. (often plural) a secluded or secret place: recesses of the mind

  1. a cessation of business, such as the closure of Parliament during a vacation

  2. anatomy a small cavity or depression in a bodily organ, part, or structure

  3. US and Canadian a break between classes at a school

  1. (tr) to place or set (something) in a recess

  2. (tr) to build a recess or recesses in (a wall, building, etc)

Origin of 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