1 [ri-sesh-uhn]
the act of receding or withdrawing.
a receding part of a wall, building, etc.
a withdrawing procession, as at the end of a religious service.
Economics. a period of an economic contraction, sometimes limited in scope or duration. Compare depression ( def 7 ).

1640–50; < Latin recessiōn- (stem of recessiō). See recess, -ion Unabridged


2 [ree-sesh-uhn]
a return of ownership to a former possessor.

1885–90; re- + cession Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
recession1 (rɪˈsɛʃən)
1.  a temporary depression in economic activity or prosperity
2.  the withdrawal of the clergy and choir in procession from the chancel at the conclusion of a church service
3.  the act of receding
4.  a part of a building, wall, etc, that recedes
[C17: from Latin recessio; see recess]

recession2 (riːˈsɛʃən)
the act of restoring possession to a former owner
[C19: from re- + cession]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"temporary decline in economic activity," 1929, from recess (q.v.):
"The material prosperity of the United States is too firmly based, in our opinion, for a revival in industrial activity -- even if we have to face an immediate recession of some magnitude -- to be long delayed." ["Economist," Nov. 2, 1929]
Ayto notes, "There was more than a hint of euphemism in the coining of this term." Recessive in genetics is 1900, from Ger. recessiv (Mendel, 1865).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

recession re·ces·sion (rĭ-sěsh'ən)
The withdrawal or retreating of tissue from its normal position.

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

recession definition

A general business slump, less severe than a depression.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
In these days of recession-inspired innovation, more colleges are getting into the guarantee business.
In this recession, starting a business from scratch or buying a franchise has
  been the way out for many.
In general usage, the word recession connotes a marked slippage in economic
And a country climbing out of a recession could surely use that money elsewhere.
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