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recess

[ri-ses, ree-ses]
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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.
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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.
  3. to suspend or defer for a recess: to recess the Senate.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to take a recess.
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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

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

closure, layoff, hiatus, vacation, pause, lull, time-out, suspension, holiday, respite, adjourn, terminate, dissolve, heart, cranny, hollow, dent, cubicle, depression, slot

Examples from the Web for recesses

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • At sides masonry with recesses; in the R. centre a great doorway.

    Apu Ollantay

    Anonymous

  • The unfortunate Boabdil plunged once more amidst the recesses of the Alhambra.

    Leila, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • We can neither plumb the depths nor pierce the shades of its recesses.

    Reflections

    Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld

  • We'll have to be stayin' more together mornin's and noons and recesses, so we will.

  • But a still greater cunning lurked in the recesses of the Indian mind.

    White Fang

    Jack London


British Dictionary definitions for recesses

recess

noun (rɪˈsɛs, ˈriːsɛs)
  1. a space, such as a niche or alcove, set back or indented
  2. (often plural) a secluded or secret placerecesses 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 and Canadian a break between classes at a school
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verb (rɪˈsɛs)
  1. (tr) to place or set (something) in a recess
  2. (tr) to build a recess or recesses in (a wall, building, etc)
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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

Word Origin and History for recesses

recess

v.

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

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

recesses in Medicine

recess

(rēsĕs′, rĭ-sĕs)
n.
  1. A small hollow or an indented area.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.