1 [noncount] US : a short period of time during the school day when children can play
The students play outside after lunch and at/during recess.
Do you have morning recess?
— called also (British) playtime
2 : a usually brief period of time during which regular activity in a court of law or in a government stops
The judge called for a recess [=break] for lunch.
The Senate debates will continue after the August recess.
The Senate wanted to vote on the bill before recess.
3 [count] : a dark, hidden place or part — usually plural — often + of
the dark recesses of the forest
He buried the memory in the deepest recesses of his mind.
4 [count] : a part of a wall that is set back from the rest of the wall