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re·​ces·​sion·​al ri-ˈsesh-nəl How to pronounce recessional (audio)
: of or relating to a withdrawal


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: a hymn or musical piece at the conclusion of a service or program

Examples of recessional in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
But for the bounce of a ball that could have been England’s recessional theme Saturday morning in Brisbane, Australia, after the European champions survived Haiti, 1-0, in their Women’s World Cup opener by the margin of a retaken penalty kick. John Powers,, 22 July 2023 Our Universe today is expanding at somewhere around 70 km/s/Mpc, which means that for every megaparsec (about 3.26 million light-years) of distance an object is separated from another object, the expanding Universe contributes a redshift that’s equivalent to a recessional motion of 70 km/s. Ethan Siegel, Forbes, 25 May 2021 At the end of the ceremony, my longtime client and friend, Common, surprised our guests by performing ‘The Light’ as our recessional song. Alexandra MacOn, Vogue, 6 Apr. 2022 Bookended by a processional and recessional based on a Gregorian chant, the work includes eight carols — with texts from a collection of mostly medieval poetry — and a harp interlude. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, 23 Dec. 2020 Such conditions inevitably produce a recognition of the limits of gradualism among conservatives fed up with years of rearguard compromise who desire a proactive rather than an essentially defensive and recessional policy program. A. Wess Mitchell, National Review, 2 Apr. 2020 These are used to measure the distances to hundreds of farther-away supernovas, whose recessional speed divided by their distance gives the Hubble constant. Quanta Magazine, 26 Feb. 2020 Her brothers, Sandy and James McIntryre, escorted her; Sandy, who would later lead a recessional while playing bagpipes, wore a kilt. New York Times, 13 Mar. 2020 Reagan’s journey proceeds in five movements: Midwestern youth; Hollywood; an introduction to politics (as union head, corporate spokesman and governor of California); the presidency; the recessional. Richard Brookhiser, WSJ, 27 Sep. 2018
Students were still advised to maintain social distance before the recessional began. Steve Sadin, Chicago Tribune, 20 May 2022 The festivities kicked off with an outdoor cocktail hour, and guests walked over immediately after the recessional. Alexandra MacOn, Vogue, 14 Feb. 2022 As a surprise to guests, the couple hired the band Hudson Horns to play for their recessional. New York Times, 12 Mar. 2021 In about 10 seconds, the same newlyweds will teleport back to square one and start the recessional all over again. Laurence Scott, Wired, 2 Mar. 2020 Wolf said he is committed to student expression and cited Glendale High recently adding a recessional to its ceremony that allows the senior class to select one or two songs that represent the graduating group. Andrew J. Campa, Glendale News-Press, 23 July 2019 Their recessional was the throne-room theme from A New Hope. Rob Ledonne, Billboard, 25 May 2018 With regard to the American 21st century, Gaddis’s favorite novelists and philosophers perhaps argue against both optional intercessions abroad and moralistic lead-from-behind recessionals. Victor Davis Hanson, New York Times, 20 Apr. 2018 Those were just suggestions for the processional, unity ceremony and recessional. Sarah Hauer, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 Mar. 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'recessional.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1867, in the meaning defined above


1867, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of recessional was in 1867

Dictionary Entries Near recessional

Cite this Entry

“Recessional.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a hymn or musical piece at the conclusion of a service or program

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