verb re·cede \ri-ˈsēd\

Definition of RECEDE

intransitive verb
a :  to move back or away :  withdraw <a receding hairline>
b :  to slant backward
:  to grow less or smaller :  diminish, decrease <a receding deficit>

Origin of RECEDE

Middle English, from Latin recedere to go back, from re- + cedere to go
First Known Use: 15th century

Synonym Discussion of RECEDE

recede, retreat, retract, back mean to move backward. recede implies a gradual withdrawing from a forward or high fixed point in time or space <the flood waters gradually receded>. retreat implies withdrawal from a point or position reached <retreating soldiers>. retract implies drawing back from an extended position <a cat retracting its claws>. back is used with up, down, out, or off to refer to any retrograde motion <backed off on the throttle>.


verb re·cede \(ˌ)rē-ˈsēd\

Definition of RECEDE

transitive verb
:  to cede back to a former possessor

Origin of RECEDE

re- + cede
First Known Use: 1771
RECEDE Defined for Kids


verb re·cede \ri-ˈsēd\

Definition of RECEDE for Kids

:  to move back or away <Floodwaters are receding.>
:  to become smaller or weaker <… I heard … footsteps receding. — Avi, Crispin>

Word Root of RECEDE

The Latin word cedere, meaning to go, gives us the root ced. Words from the Latin cedere have something to do with going. To precede is to go before. To exceed is to go beyond a limit. To proceed is to go forward. To recede is to go back or away.


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