re·cess (rēsĕs′, rĭ-sĕs)
a. A temporary cessation of the customary activities of an engagement, occupation, or pursuit: The chairman of the committee called for a recess until Thursday. See Synonyms at pause.
b. A period in the school day during which students are given time to play or relax.
2. often recesses A remote, secret, or secluded place: a bird that lives deep in the recesses of the forest.
a. An indentation or small hollow: Dirt accumulated in the recesses of the statue.
b. An alcove.
v. re·cessed, re·cess·ing, re·cess·es
1. To place in a recess.
2. To create or fashion a recess in: recessed a portion of the wall.
3. To suspend for a recess: The committee chair recessed the hearings.
To take a recess: The investigators recessed for lunch.
[Latin recessus, retreat, from past participle of recēdere, to recede; see RECEDE1.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.