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recess (n.)

1530s, "act of receding or going back or away" (a sense now obsolete), from Latin recessus "a going back, retreat," from recessum, past participle of recedere "to go back, fall back; withdraw, depart, retire," from re- "back" (see re-) + cedere "to go" (from PIE root *ked- "to go, yield").

Meaning "hidden or remote part" is recorded from 1610s; that of "period of stopping from usual work" is from 1620s, probably from parliamentary notion of "recessing" into private chambers. Meaning "place of retirement or seclusion" is from 1630s; that of "niche, receding space or inward indentation in a line of continuity" is from 1690s.

recess (v.)

1809, "place in a recess," literal or figurative, from recess (n.). By 1845 as "make a recess in." Intransitive sense of "take a recess, adjourn for a short time" is by 1893. Related: Recessed; recessing.

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Definitions of recess from WordNet
1
recess (n.)
a state of abeyance or suspended business;
Synonyms: deferral
recess (n.)
a small concavity;
Synonyms: recession / niche / corner
recess (n.)
an arm off of a larger body of water (often between rocky headlands);
Synonyms: inlet
recess (n.)
an enclosure that is set back or indented;
Synonyms: niche
recess (n.)
a pause from doing something (as work);
Synonyms: respite / break / time out
2
recess (v.)
put into a recess;
recess lights
recess (v.)
make a recess in;
recess the piece of wood
recess (v.)
close at the end of a session;
Synonyms: adjourn / break up
From wordnet.princeton.edu