"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[ri-ses, ree-ses] /rɪˈsɛs, ˈri sɛs/
temporary withdrawal or cessation from the usual work or activity.
a period of such withdrawal.
a receding part or space, as a bay or alcove in a room.
an indentation in a line or extent of coast, hills, forest, etc.
recesses, a secluded or inner area or part:
in the recesses of the palace.
verb (used with object)
to place or set in a recess.
to set or form as or like a recess; make a recess or recesses in:
to recess a wall.
to suspend or defer for a recess:
to recess the Senate.
verb (used without object)
to take a recess.
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 forms
nonrecess, noun
1. respite, rest, break, vacation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for recesses
  • The dark recesses of deep ocean waters often seem otherworldly.
  • Rather than charting the shortest possible path through the web's recesses, the upshot is a convoluted one.
  • The comments landed right on schedule, with stellar recommendations from the deep recesses of time and television.
  • Then they'd place the bones in recesses and corners.
  • Only the faint glow of earthshine filled the shadowy recesses.
  • As evening cloaks the pit's deepest recesses in shade, the lava lake and explosive bubbles glow more seductively.
  • Glorified in the enchanted recesses of my memory, these movies will always have a special place in my own dil.
  • He completes two cartwheels, swings gracefully into the lower recesses of the cave, and swoops back out into space.
  • Red hair is a funny thing, it recesses for awhile and suddenly it is there.
  • Instead, each of the four days of instruction will be lengthened an hour, and recesses and other breaks will be shortened.
British Dictionary definitions for recesses


noun (rɪˈsɛs; ˈriːsɛs)
a space, such as a niche or alcove, set back or indented
(often pl) a secluded or secret place: recesses of the mind
a cessation of business, such as the closure of Parliament during a vacation
(anatomy) a small cavity or depression in a bodily organ, part, or structure
(US & Canadian) a break between classes at a school
verb (rɪˈsɛs)
(transitive) to place or set (something) in a recess
(transitive) to build a recess or recesses in (a wall, building, etc)
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for recesses



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.


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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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recesses in Medicine

recess re·cess (rē'sěs', rĭ-sěs')
A small hollow or an indented area.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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