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1640s, "act of receding, a going back," from French récession "a going backward, a withdrawing," and directly from Latin recessionem (nominative recessio) "a going back," noun of action from past participle stem of recedere (see recede).
Sense of "temporary decline in economic activity," 1929, noun of action 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."
recession re·ces·sion (rĭ-sěsh'ən)
The withdrawal or retreating of tissue from its normal position.
A general business slump, less severe than a depression.