What Is the Definition of a Recession?

In economics, a "recession" means a period of contraction that is typically limited in scope or time. It contrasts with a "depression," which means a more severe economic decline.

"Recession" is a noun that can also mean the act of withdrawing, a receding part of a building or the act of restoring possession to a former owner.

"Recession" entered the English language in the 1640s from the French word "récession." It originates from the Latin word "recessionem," which means the act of going backward or withdrawing. "The Economist" introduced "recession" in the economic sense in 1929, a few days after the beginning of the Great Depression.