AskDefine | Define recess

Dictionary Definition



1 a state of abeyance or suspended business [syn: deferral]
2 a small concavity [syn: recession, niche, corner]
3 an arm off of a larger body of water (often between rocky headlands) [syn: inlet]
4 an enclosure that is set back or indented [syn: niche]
5 a pause from doing something (as work); "we took a 10-minute break"; "he took time out to recuperate" [syn: respite, break, time out]


1 put into a recess; "recess lights"
2 make a recess in; "recess the piece of wood"
3 close at the end of a session; "The court adjourned" [syn: adjourn, break up]

User Contributed Dictionary



From recessus.



  1. In the context of "countable|or|uncountable": A break, pause or vacation.
    Spring recess offers a good chance to travel.
  2. An inset, hole, space or opening.
    Put a generous recess behind the handle for finger space.
  3. A time of play, usually, on a playground.
    Students who do not listen in class will not play outside during recess.


Derived terms


a break, pause or vacation
an inset, hole, space or opening
  • Finnish: syvennys
  • Japanese: あそび, ゆとり
  • Russian: углубление
a time of play
  • Finnish: välitunti
  • Japanese: 休み時間, 休憩時間
  • Russian: перемена


  1. To inset into something, or to recede.
    Wow, look at how that gargoyle recesses into the rest of architecture.
    Recess the screw so it does not stick out.
  2. To take or declare a break.
    This court shall recess for its normal two hour lunch now.
    Class will recess for 20 minutes.


declare a break

Extensive Definition

Recess may refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Jim Crow, abeyance, adjourn, adytum, alcove, apartheid, apartness, ashram, asylum, bay, bolt-hole, bosom, break, breath, breathe, breather, breathing place, breathing space, breathing spell, breathing time, cache, caesura, call a break, call a recess, call time, carrel, cease-fire, cell, center, cigarette break, cloister, cocktail hour, coffee break, concealment, continue, core, corner, cove, cover, covert, coverture, cranny, cubby, cubbyhole, cubicle, dark corner, day off, declare a recess, deepest recesses, defer, delay, den, dent, depress, depths, detachment, dimple, dint, dissolve, downtime, drag out, drop, dugout, enforced respite, engrave, extend, foxhole, funk hole, half time, half-time intermission, halt, hang fire, hang up, happy hour, heart, heart of hearts, hermitage, hesitate, hesitation, hideaway, hideout, hidey hole, hiding, hiding place, hold off, hold over, hold up, hole, holiday, hollow, holy of holies, impress, imprint, indent, inglenook, inner, inner landscape, inner life, inner man, inner nature, inner recess, inner self, inside, interim, interior, interior man, interlude, intermezzo, intermission, intermit, intermittence, intern, internal, interregnum, interruption, interval, intervene, intrados, inward, isolation, isolationism, ivory tower, knock off, lair, lapse, lay aside, lay by, lay off, lay over, layoff, let up, letup, lull, mew, niche, nook, notch, off-time, oriel, pause, penetralia, pigeonhole, pit, pitchhole, plateau, pock, pockmark, point of repose, postpone, press in, privacy, privatism, privatization, prolong, prorogate, prorogue, protract, punch, punch in, push aside, put aside, put off, put on ice, quarantine, quiet spell, recesses, recession, reclusion, refuge, relief, remission, reserve, respite, rest, resting point, retirement, retreat, rise, roomlet, rustication, sanctuary, sanctum, sanctum sanctorum, seclusion, secrecy, secret place, secret places, segregation, separation, sequestration, set aside, set back, set by, set in, shelve, shift off, sleep on, snuggery, soul, spell, splendid isolation, stamp, stand over, stand-down, stash, stave off, stay, stop for breath, stretch out, surcease, suspend, suspension, table, take a break, take a recess, take a rest, take five, take ten, take time out, tamp, tea break, terminate, time off, time out, truce, undercovert, vacation, vital center, vitals, waive, withdrawal
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