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

  • n. The act of withdrawing or going back.
  • n. An extended decline in general business activity, typically two consecutive quarters of falling real gross national product.
  • n. The withdrawal in a line or file of participants in a ceremony, especially clerics and choir members after a church service.
  • n. Law The act of restoring possession to a former owner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act or an instance of receding
  • n. A period of reduced economic activity
  • n. The ceremonial filing out of clergy and/or choir at the end of a church service.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of receding or withdrawing, as from a place, a claim, or a demand.
  • n. A period during which economic activity, as measured by gross domestic product, declines for at least two quarters in a row in a specific country. If the decline is severe and long, such as greater than ten percent, it may be termed a depression.
  • n. A procession in which people leave a ceremony, such as at a religious service.
  • n. The act of ceding back; restoration; repeated cession.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of receding or going back; withdrawal; retirement, as from a position reached or from a demand made.
  • n. The state of being put back; a position relatively withdrawn.
  • n. A cession or granting back; retrocession: as, the recession of conquered territory to its former sovereign.

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

  • n. the withdrawal of the clergy and choir from the chancel to the vestry at the end of a church service
  • n. the state of the economy declines; a widespread decline in the GDP and employment and trade lasting from six months to a year
  • n. a small concavity
  • n. the act of becoming more distant
  • n. the act of ceding back


Latin recessiō, recessiōn-, from recessus, past participle of recēdere, to recede; see recede1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Recorded since 1929, from recess + -ion, from Latin recessus ("a going back, retreat"), from recessum, the past participle of recedere ("to recede"), from re- ("back") + cedere ("to go") (Wiktionary)


  • BLOOMBERG: Whether the term recession, which is a technical term, will be appropriate, I have no idea, but the country is in a-- has some very serious economic problems.

    CNN Transcript Jan 15, 2008

  • BLOOMBERG: Whether the term recession, which is a technical term, will be appropriate, I have no idea.

    CNN Transcript Jan 16, 2008

  • "These stocks give new meaning to the term recession proof," Cramer said.

  • The country is still in recession from a techincal aspect.

    CNN Poll: Americans say country still in recession

  • Yes I agree the recession is slowing for the mega rich, but the working middle class has been in recession for over thirty years.

    Obama: Figures show recession slowing, despite job report

  • Many front line executives felt that the industry took undue advantage of the term recession and even those companies who remained profitable used it to cut expenses and block annual appraisals.

    High Attrition among the BPO managers can be observed, post recession : BPO Voice

  • He also admitted that, you know, that he said that the term recession is something that economists use.

    CNN Transcript Mar 8, 2008

  • BASH (voice-over): An Atlanta town hall, John McCain insisted the term recession matters to economists, not people feeling the pinch, but concede that America is likely in one.

    CNN Transcript Mar 7, 2008

  • The term recession or whether we're in one is determined by a group called the National Bureau of Economic Research.

    CNN Transcript Apr 30, 2008

  • ELAINE QUIJANO, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Well, Kitty, they did not use the term recession to describe the economic forecast, but Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke as well as Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson did not paint a rosy economic picture.

    CNN Transcript Feb 14, 2008


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  • It's all voodoo anyway.

    September 13, 2011

  • Don't call two quarters of GDP decline a "traditional" definition of "recession." The recent convention often is rejected as simplistic. A "recession" ends when a decline hits bottom. It doesn’t mean the economy has recovered, says the National Bureau of Economic Research. The NBER defines “recession” as “significant decline in economic activity lasting more than a few months.” It runs from a peak to a trough.

    September 12, 2011

  • "But because political discourse is controlled by people who put the accumulation of money above all other ends, this policy appears to be impossible. Unpleasant as it will be, it is hard to see what except an accidental recession could prevent economic growth from blowing us through Canaan and into the desert on the other side." - 'Bring on the Recession', George Monbiot, 9 Oct 2007.

    December 12, 2007