• synonyms


[ri-ses, ree-ses]
  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 for recess

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

Related Words for recessing

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 recessing

Historical Examples of recessing

  • A special device is used for recessing and will be described later.

    Turning and Boring

    Franklin D. Jones

  • The most advanced detail which occurs in pre-Conquest buildings is the recessing of arches in orders.

  • This difficulty may be overcome by recessing the wheel face, as in Fig. 2043, in which the wheel is shown in section.

  • The recessing should extend half way up the radial back of the tooth at t.

British Dictionary definitions for recessing


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 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 recessing



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

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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

recessing in Medicine


(rēsĕs′, rĭ-sĕs)
  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.