[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 recesses

Contemporary Examples of recesses

Historical Examples of recesses

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

    Apu Ollantay


  • 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.


    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


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 recesses



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

recesses 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.