verb (1)
re·​cede | \ri-ˈsēd \
receded; receding

Definition of recede 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to move back or away : withdraw a receding hairline

b : to slant backward

2 : to grow less or smaller : diminish, decrease a receding deficit


verb (2)
re·​cede | \(ˌ)rē-ˈsēd \
receded; receding; recedes

Definition of recede (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to cede back to a former possessor

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Choose the Right Synonym for recede

Verb (1)

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

Examples of recede in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But the state has a long history of voting for Democratic politicians for many offices, which has not yet entirely receded into the past. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "Joe Manchin reelected in West Virginia: the most conservative Senate Democrat survives," 7 Nov. 2018 The sheriff's office said the ditch where the victim was found had been flooded for more than a week and the water had just receded. Fox News, "The Latest: Red Cross says housing could be hard to find," 25 Sep. 2018 In the 1940s, those temperance advocates who had receded out of the limelight during Prohibition returned to the public sphere with renewed vigor. Hannah C. Griggs, The Atlantic, "Teaching Sobriety With ‘The Bottle’," 27 May 2018 There’s a reason Bobby’s interpreters have either struggled or refused to identify him with liberalism: His politics belonged to a tradition that had receded from it all but entirely since the Progressive era: civic republicanism. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "RFK, Civic Republican," 25 May 2018 After six weeks of proton therapy, Hancock said, the family returned to Nicklaus Children's, where an MRI showed Damian's brain tumor had receded. Daniel Chang, miamiherald, "'They killed my kid.' Parents sue renowned doctor, hospital after children die of cancer | Miami Herald," 21 May 2018 European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier is ramping up his rhetoric and officials in private worry that the risk of a messy divorce, which had receded at the end of last year, is now back. Emma Ross-thomas,, "No-Deal Brexit Risk Is Back as Barnier Warns Talks May Fail," 2 May 2018 Part of the price of losing the Colonels was that some of those scenes have receded from memory. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Former Kentucky Colonel Artis Gilmore: Louisville is ready to handle an NBA team," 28 Apr. 2018 The tone of Friday’s summit meeting means that the prospect of U.S. military action has receded. Tom Plant, Time, "How the Historic North Korea Summit Gave Trump a Path to Create a Lasting Peace," 28 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While this bias should recede as more people take the tests and add their genetic data to the mix, the companies have some work to do before their kits can work reasonably well on a worldwide population. Dieter Holger, PCWorld, "DNA testing for ancestry is more detailed for white people. Here’s why, and how it's changing," 4 Dec. 2018 But for now, with the caravan still more than 1,700 miles from the US border, the story has receded from Fox News just as fast as the midterm elections came and went. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "Fox News barely mentions caravan first morning after midterms," 7 Nov. 2018 In the same place where contour powder would go to make those hollows recede, blush brings attention to Khaliha's cheekbones by grabbing attention instead, softening and enhancing her bone structure without exaggerating her angles. Michelle Sulcov, Glamour, "These Before-and-After Photos Show What a Difference Blush Can Make," 31 Aug. 2018 Once the bruised, blood-red trail of shock and physical trauma had receded, the deep, salty, swirling waters of violation and betrayal flooded. Polo Tate, Marie Claire, "Sexual Assault in the Military: One Woman's True Story," 8 Aug. 2018 Sleek porcelain table lamps recede from the scheme. Marni Elyse Katz,, "A bright, new homework room to keep the kids on track," 22 June 2018 Overall, foreign ownership of Treasuries receded in April, falling to $6.17 trillion. Katherine Greifeld,, "China's U.S. Treasuries Holdings Fell $5.8 Billion in April," 15 June 2018 Newsletter Sign-up For example, leveraged funds such as hedge funds have ramped up bets against futures tracking the Cboe Volatility Index in recent weeks, wagering that market volatility will recede. Gunjan Banerji, WSJ, "Investor Fears Drive Up Hedging Costs," 11 Oct. 2018 Floodwaters already receding on one stretch of Interstate 40 left thousands of rotting fish on the pavement for firefighters to clean up. Frank Miles, Fox News, "Florence could trigger 'record' flooding in South Carolina; thousands urged to evacuate," 24 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recede.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of recede

Verb (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb (2)

1771, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for recede

Verb (1)

Middle English, from Latin recedere to go back, from re- + cedere to go

Verb (2)

re- + cede

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Statistics for recede

Last Updated

11 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for recede

The first known use of recede was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for recede


re·​cede | \ri-ˈsēd \
receded; receding

Kids Definition of recede

1 : to move back or away Floodwaters are receding.

2 : to become smaller or weaker … I heard … footsteps receding.— Avi, Crispin

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More from Merriam-Webster on recede

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with recede

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for recede

Spanish Central: Translation of recede

Nglish: Translation of recede for Spanish Speakers

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