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Definition to move away or diminish (become less)
The exact meaning of recede depends upon its context. For example:
  • "We can't move back in until the floodwaters recede." — diminish and move away
  • "Her fear receded." — diminished
  • "The waves first advance and then recede." — move away
  • "The news story receded into the background as it was replaced by new stories." — received diminished attention
  • "a receding hairline" — diminished hair (each year the line where hair stops growing is higher)
  • Her unhappy childhood memories receded as she grew older.
receded = diminished (decreased)
  • The pain is beginning to recede.
  • recede = diminish (decrease)
  • The tide is receding.
  • He has a receding hairline.
  • For a second, Mr. Sir's pain seemed to recede.
    Louis Sachar  --  Holes
  • recede = diminish (decrease)
  • Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther... and one fine morning — So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • recedes = moves away; or retreats from
  • Her mother's voice, the feel of home, receded for the moment, and her thoughts turned forward.
    Natalie Babbitt  --  Tuck Everlasting
  • receded = diminished (decreased)
  • The wave of pain receded almost as quickly as it had come.
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • receded = diminished
  • And he could smell the sharp odour of exposed kelp from the receding tide.
    John Steinbeck  --  The Pearl
  • receding = retreating (moving away)
  • It would be so hard for him to recede into the background . . .
    Reginald Rose  --  Twelve Angry Men
  • recede = to diminish or move away
  • As soon as the cold water hit his stomach he felt the hunger sharpen, as it had before, and he stood and held his abdomen until the hunger cramps receded.
    Gary Paulsen  --  Hatchet
  • receded = diminished (decreased)
  • His hair was receding somewhat, which emphasized the pointed chin.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  • The countryside seemed to be receding from the little circle of noise around the shed.
    Flannery O'Connor  --  A Good Man is Hard to Find AND OTHER STORIES
  • He could hear Dobby's squeals of pain receding around the corner.
    J.K. Rowling  --  Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Prison certainly wasn't funny, but with each new day it was receding into my past.
    Jack Gantos  --  Hole in My Life
  • They kept jostling as they bided the outcome, Surging, receding.
    Boris Pasternak  --  Doctor Zhivago
  • Thomas drew her close, and they watched the receding entourage in awed silence.
    Ted Dekker  --  White: The Great Pursuit
  • They saw the future as something that came upon them from behind their backs with the past receding away before their eyes.
    Robert M. Pirsig  --  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
  • But I take it as a sign that the pain from the stinger must be receding if there's room for me to feel other sensations like smoke irritation.
    Susan Ee  --  Angelfall
  • We abate nothing of our just demands; not one jot or tittle do we recede.
    Winston Churchill  --  Their Finest Hour

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