Definition of recession in US English:



  • 1A period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.

    • ‘Economic recessions are predominantly the result of insufficient demand.’
    • ‘When recessions were a regular feature of the economic environment, they were often viewed as inevitable.’
    • ‘Gold is the only mineral commodity which is expected to benefit from the current global economic recession.’
    • ‘If we want to avert a very deep recession it is absolutely vital that these psychological factors are reversed.’
    • ‘The country was gripped by recession and interest rates were soaring.’
    • ‘He says the economy is in recession after the worst third quarter growth figures in some 50 years.’
    • ‘In mid-2001, as recession hit, the stock market wobbled.’
    • ‘As political economists have always emphasised, periodic recessions are endemic to capitalism.’
    • ‘Even the opposition parties concede that Kim has done a good job in pulling the country out of recession.’
    • ‘Sales and profits increased annually even during the recession of the late 1980s and early 1990s.’
    • ‘This obviously buoys the market in good times and smooths its falls in recessions.’
    • ‘The economic impact of the energy crisis has been to aggravate a descent into recession.’
    • ‘Compared to other post-war recessions, the downturn of 2001 is one of the shallowest on record.’
    • ‘The country is again sliding into recession at a time when policy makers have few options to revive growth.’
    • ‘The average length of the last 10 recessions has been just under 11 months.’
    • ‘And price wars typically break out during recessions as vendors battle for consumers.’
    • ‘In some ways, this recession has not been as hard on low-wage workers as earlier recessions.’
    • ‘The economy is entering its fourth recession in a decade, with no relief in sight.’
    • ‘Figures released this week show US unemployment rising, as recession looms.’
    • ‘Yes, consumer confidence has proved far more robust than in previous recessions.’
    • ‘The country is in deep recession, yet the government has cut its spending by about 40 percent this year.’
    economic decline, downturn, depression, slump, slowdown, trough, credit crunch, credit squeeze
    View synonyms
  • 2Astronomy
    The action of receding; motion away from an observer.

    • ‘The velocity of recession is proportional to the distance from us.’
    • ‘In 1842 Doppler proved that the colour of a luminous body, like the pitch or note of a sounding body, must be changed by velocity of approach or recession.’
    • ‘The expansion of the Universe is described by a very simple equation called Hubble's law; the velocity of the recession of a galaxy is equal to a constant times its distance.’


Mid 17th century: from Latin recessio(n-), from recess- ‘gone back’, from the verb recedere (see recede).