recede

1 of 2

verb (1)

re·​cede ri-ˈsēd How to pronounce recede (audio)
receded; receding

intransitive verb

1
a
: to move back or away : withdraw
a receding hairline
b
: to slant backward
2
: to grow less or smaller : diminish, decrease
a receding deficit

recede

2 of 2

verb (2)

re·​cede (ˌ)rē-ˈsēd How to pronounce recede (audio)
receded; receding; recedes

transitive verb

: to cede back to a former possessor
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Storm surge: Surge related flooding will continue to recede along portions of Georgia's southern coast and Florida's Gulf and east coasts, including the St. Johns River. Cheryl Mccloud, USA TODAY, 11 Nov. 2022 As a decades-long drought parches the American West, Lake Mead’s water supply has suffered, causing the man made reservoir’s shorelines to dramatically recede and reveal some remains that were once submerged. Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN, 26 Oct. 2022 The reservoir began to recede in 2000 when the Colorado River basin entered what is known as the Millennium Drought, the driest period in the Southwest in at least 1,200 years. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, 29 Aug. 2022 Her firmly modeled countenance, lapidary as a piece of sculpture, emerges from a thick, black-blue spatial environment that seems to recede endlessly in all directions. Eric Gibson, WSJ, 26 Aug. 2022 Some still hold out hope for a day when identity will recede in the conversation. New York Times, 28 July 2022 They are not administered once a person develops symptoms, which usually recede within one to two weeks. Alison Dirr, Journal Sentinel, 11 July 2022 Apple TV+ had been slated to release the big-budget film during the 2022 awards season, and many industry observers figured the streamer would punt it until 2023, allowing The Slap to recede a bit more into the mists of time. Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times, 7 Oct. 2022 The institute in Sehwan serves people from neighbouring towns and districts, including those living in camps while the waters recede and rebuilding can begin. Fox News, 3 Oct. 2022
Verb
The crust keeps tires cool at high speeds and provides an ideal surface for racing — unless seasonal flooding fails to recede or leaves behind an unstable layer of salt. The Salt Lake Tribune, 5 Nov. 2022 The crust keeps tires cool at high speeds and provides an ideal surface for racing – unless seasonal flooding fails to recede or leaves behind an unstable layer of salt. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 3 Nov. 2022 The reservoir began to recede in 2000 when the Colorado River basin entered what is known as the Millennium Drought, the driest period in the Southwest in at least 1,200 years. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, 29 Aug. 2022 The institute in Sehwan serves people from neighbouring towns and districts, including those living in camps while the waters recede and rebuilding can begin. Fox News, 3 Oct. 2022 Despite runaway inflation, economists think inflation will soon recede. Jason Bisnoff, Forbes, 13 Apr. 2022 Some still hold out hope for a day when identity will recede in the conversation. New York Times, 28 July 2022 If inflation doesn’t recede and the Fed responds with additional, aggressive interest-rate increases, then the U.S. might be on the cusp of an unambiguous downturn that everyone agrees to call recession. Jon Hilsenrath, WSJ, 28 Aug. 2022 The glaciers in this area of the Alaska Range did not recede this season. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Verb (1)

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

Verb (2)

re- + cede

First Known Use

Verb (1)

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

Verb (2)

1771, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near recede

Cite this Entry

“Recede.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recede. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

recede

verb

re·​cede
ri-ˈsēd
receded; receding
1
a
: to move back or away
the flood waters receded
b
: to slant backward
a receding forehead
2
: to grow less or smaller
a receding debt

More from Merriam-Webster on recede

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