Recess is a break from doing something, like work or school. Almost everyone looks forward to taking a recess — even if you don't have access to monkey bars.

Recess comes from the Latin word recessus, meaning "a going back, retreat." You may have heard children talking about recess as their favorite part of school. This meaning of the word refers to the break in a school day for children to play, usually outside in a playground. As a verb, recess means to take a break at the end of a session — usually in a court proceeding: "The judge announced the court would recess until the following day."

Primary Meanings of recess

a state of abeyance or suspended business
close at the end of a session
a small concavity
make a recess in
Full Definitions of recess

n a state of abeyance or suspended business

Type of:
abeyance, suspension
temporary cessation or suspension

n a pause from doing something (as work)

break, respite, time out
spring break
a week or more of recess during the spring term at school
Type of:
temporary inactivity

v close at the end of a session

adjourn, break up
Type of:
cease, end, finish, stop, terminate
have an end, in a temporal, spatial, or quantitative sense; either spatial or metaphorical

n a small concavity

corner, niche, recession
pharyngeal recess
a small recess in the wall of the pharynx
Type of:
concave shape, concavity, incurvation, incurvature
a shape that curves or bends inward

n an enclosure that is set back or indented

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alcove, bay
a small recess opening off a larger room
apse, apsis
a domed or vaulted recess or projection on a building especially the east end of a church; usually contains the altar
cinerarium, columbarium
a niche for a funeral urn containing the ashes of the cremated dead
fireplace, hearth, open fireplace
an open recess in a wall at the base of a chimney where a fire can be built
(Islam) a niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the direction of Mecca
carrel, carrell, cubicle, stall
small individual study area in a library
a fireplace in which a relatively small fire is burning
the apse of a Christian church that contains the bishop's throne
Type of:
a structure consisting of an area that has been enclosed for some purpose

n an arm off of a larger body of water (often between rocky headlands)

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Bristol Channel
an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean between southern Wales and southwestern England
Gulf of Aegina
a gulf of the Aegean on the southeastern coast of Greece
White Sea
a large inlet of the Barents Sea in the northwestern part of European Russia
Zuider Zee
a former inlet of the North Sea in the northern coast of the Netherlands; sealed off from the sea in 1932 by a dam that created the IJsselmeer
Loch Linnhe
an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean on the western coast of Scotland
Trondheim Fiord
a long narrow inlet of the Norwegian Sea
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a small inlet
fiord, fjord
a long narrow inlet of the sea between steep cliffs; common in Norway
a long narrow inlet of the sea in Scotland (especially when it is nearly landlocked)
a long narrow (nearly landlocked) cove in Ireland
Type of:
body of water, water
the part of the earth's surface covered with water (such as a river or lake or ocean)

v make a recess in

recess the piece of wood”
Type of:
notch the edge of or make jagged

v put into a recess

recess lights”
Type of:
lay, place, pose, position, put, set
put into a certain place or abstract location

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