Synonym Chooser

How does the verb recede contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of recede are back, retract, and retreat. While all these words 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

In what contexts can back take the place of recede?

The meanings of back and recede largely overlap; however, back is used with up, down, out, or off to refer to any retrograde motion.

backed off on the throttle

When could retract be used to replace recede?

In some situations, the words retract and recede are roughly equivalent. However, retract implies drawing back from an extended position.

a cat retracting its claws

When would retreat be a good substitute for recede?

While the synonyms retreat and recede are close in meaning, retreat implies withdrawal from a point or position reached.

retreating soldiers

Thesaurus Entries Near recede

Cite this Entry

“Recede.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2023.

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