verb \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 \(ˌ)rē-ˈsēd\

Definition of RECEDE

transitive verb
:  to cede back to a former possessor

Origin of RECEDE

re- + cede
First Known Use: 1771


Next Word in the Dictionary: recedence
Previous Word in the Dictionary: rec'd
All Words Near: recede

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up recede? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).