See also: Cess and ċess

English edit

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Pronunciation edit

  • IPA(key): /sɛs/
  • Rhymes: -ɛs
  • (file)

Etymology 1 edit

Uncertain. Occurs in print at least as early as 1831, when Samuel Lover used the expression as one already long-established. He unambiguously stated the derivation of cess in the malediction bad cess to be an abbreviation of success.[1] OED speculated that it either was from success or from assessment meaning a military or governmental exaction.[2]

Noun edit

cess (plural cesses)

  1. (British, Ireland) An assessed tax, duty, or levy.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, A View of the Present State of Irelande[1]:
      Cess is none other than that which you yourself called imposition [...]
    • 1967, G. R. Madan, Indian Social Problems, volume 2, →ISBN, page 225:
      The act provides for a levy of a cess on all coal and coke despatched from collieries in India, at such rate, not less than twenty-five paise and not more than fifty paise per ton, as may be fixed by the Central Government.
    • 2006, The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, Georg Thieme Verlag, page 76:
      Therefore it was proposed to levy a cess on local authorities which are entrusted with the duty of supplying water under the law by or under which they are constituted and on certain specified industries.
  2. (British, Ireland, informal) Usually preceded by good or (more commonly) bad: luck or success.
    • 1852 November, O’Hara Family, “Clough Fionn; or, The Stone of Destiny”, in The Dublin University Magazine, a Literary and Political Journal, volume XL, number CCXXXIX, Dublin: James McGlashan, []; London: W[illia]m S[omerville] Orr and Company, →OCLC, chapter XI, page 557:
      "Bad cess may attend you, where are you scampering to, you rambunctious"—but she could go no farther; the tears burst from her, and she gave way, without farther resistance, to an explosion of grief.
    • 1962, News for Farmer Cooperatives[2], Information Office, Farm Credit Administration:
      Midland has had good cess with using minute commercials eight television stations, cited as one example of modernizing its advertising.
    • 1965, Canada Month[3]:
      It is good cess to feel the warmth and sincerity of this couple who fill the role of the Queen's representative in Canada.
    • 2004, Kevin O'Malley, Inside, →ISBN, page 37:
      Bad cess to it, b'ys! Where's the blessed ting, at all, at all? Bad cess to it!
  3. (obsolete) Bound; measure.

Verb edit

cess (third-person singular simple present cesses, present participle cessing, simple past and past participle cessed)

  1. (British, Ireland) To levy a cess.
Derived terms edit
See also edit

Etymology 2 edit

Possibly from an archaic dialect word meaning “bog”. According to the OED, from earlier suspiral (water pipe, setting tank).[3]

Noun edit

the cess is the low area either side of the track

cess (plural cesses)

  1. (rail transport) The area along either side of a railroad track which is kept at a lower level than the sleeper bottom, in order to provide drainage.
    • 2022 August 10, Dr Mike Esbester, “New understandings from old incidents”, in RAIL, number 963, page 58:
      In April 1923, he was working with a gang of five others in Glasgow on the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS). They were told to walk in the cess. But as it wasn't clear, they walked on the sleepers, each carrying a 70lb lifting screw on his shoulder. McGuinness was struck by a train and killed for want of a safe path.
  2. (obsolete, dialect) A bog, in particular a peat bog.
  3. (obsolete, dialect) A piece of peat, or a turf, particularly when dried for use as fuel.
Derived terms edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Lover, Samuel: Legends and Stories of Ireland. 1831 Publishers Wakeman, Dublin; Baldwin and Cradock, London; Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh.
  2. ^ Murray, J.A.H. The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (2 vols). Publisher: Oxford University Press. 1971. ISBN: 978-0198611172
  3. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1884–1928, and First Supplement, 1933.

Etymology 3 edit

From French cesser. See cease.

Verb edit

cess (third-person singular simple present cesses, present participle cessing, simple past and past participle cessed)

  1. (obsolete, law) To cease; to neglect.
    • 1827, John Perkins, A Profitable Book, Treating of the Laws of England[5]:
      And therefore, if there be lord, mesne, and tenant, and the tenant doth cess, and the mesne takes a wife and dies, his wife shall not have dower of the tenancy...

Anagrams edit

Norwegian Nynorsk edit

Alternative forms edit

  • Cess (alternative capitalization)

Noun edit

cess m (definite singular cessen, indefinite plural cessar, definite plural cessane)

  1. (music) C-flat

Derived terms edit

Swedish edit

Noun edit

cess n

  1. C-flat

Declension edit

Declension of cess 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative cess cesset cess cessen
Genitive cess cessets cess cessens

Related terms edit

References edit