from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A temporary cessation of the customary activities of an engagement, occupation, or pursuit.
  • n. The period of such cessation. See Synonyms at pause.
  • n. A remote, secret, or secluded place. Often used in the plural.
  • n. An indentation or small hollow.
  • n. An alcove.
  • transitive v. To place in a recess.
  • transitive v. To create or fashion a recess in: recessed a portion of the wall.
  • transitive v. To suspend for a recess: The committee chair recessed the hearings.
  • intransitive v. To take a recess: The investigators recessed for lunch.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A break, pause or vacation.
  • n. An inset, hole, space or opening.
  • n. A time of play, usually, on a playground.
  • n. A decree of the imperial diet of the old German empire.
  • v. To inset into something, or to recede.
  • v. To take or declare a break.
  • v. To appoint, with a recess appointment.
  • adj. Remote, distant (in time or place).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A withdrawing or retiring; a moving back; retreat.
  • n. The state of being withdrawn; seclusion; privacy.
  • n. Remission or suspension of business or procedure; intermission, as of a legislative body, court, or school.
  • n. Part of a room formed by the receding of the wall, as an alcove, niche, etc.
  • n. A place of retirement, retreat, secrecy, or seclusion.
  • n. Secret or abstruse part.
  • n. A sinus.
  • n. A decree of the imperial diet of the old German empire.
  • transitive v. To make a recess in.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make a recess in; form with a space sunk beyond the general surface: as, to recess a wall.
  • To place in a recess; form as a recess; make a recess of or for; hence, to conceal in or as if in a recess.
  • To take a recess; adjourn or separate for a short time: as, the convention recessed till the afternoon.
  • n. The act of receding, or going back or away; withdrawal; retirement; recession.
  • n. A state of being withdrawn or retired; seclusion; privacy.
  • n. A time of withdrawal or retirement; an interval of release from occupation; specifically, a period of relief from attendance, as of a school, a jury, a legislative body, or other assembly; a temporary dismissal.
  • n. A place of retirement or seclusion; a remote or secret spot or situation; a nook; hence, a hidden or abstruse part of anything: as, the recesses of a forest; the recesses of philosophy.
  • n. A receding space or inward indentation or depression in a line of continuity; a niche, alcove, or the like: as, a recess in a room for a window or a bed; a recess in a wall or the side of a hill. See cut under ambry.
  • n. A treaty, law, decree, or contract embodying the results of a negotiation; especially, a decree or law promulgated by tlie Diet of the old German empire, or by that of the Hanseatic League.
  • n. In botany, a sinus of a lobed leaf.
  • n. In anatomy and zoology, a receding or hollowedout part; a depression or sinus; a recessus.
  • n. Synonyms Prorogation, Dissolution, etc. (see adjournment), intermission, respite.
  • n. Retreat, nook, corner.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small concavity
  • n. an arm off of a larger body of water (often between rocky headlands)
  • v. make a recess in
  • n. an enclosure that is set back or indented
  • v. put into a recess
  • n. a pause from doing something (as work)
  • v. close at the end of a session
  • n. a state of abeyance or suspended business


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Latin recessus, retreat, from past participle of recēdere, to recede; see recede1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin recessus.



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