AskDefine | Define cess

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative forms


  • sɛs
  • Rhymes with: -ɛs

Etymology 1

Shortened form of assess, spelled by analogy with census and other Latinate words.


  1. In the context of "UK|Ireland": An assessed tax.


  1. In the context of "UK|Ireland": To levy a cess.
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Etymology 2

Possibly from an archaic dialect word meaning "bog".


  1. 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.
Derived terms
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Related terms

Extensive Definition

The term cess (a shortened form of assess; the spelling is due to a mistaken connection with census), is generally a tax. It is a term formerly more particularly applied to local taxation, in which sense it is still the official term used in Ireland; otherwise it has been superseded by "rate". In India it is applied, with the qualifying word prefixed, to any taxation, such as irrigation-cess,educational cess and the like. In Scotland, it refers to the land value tax.
In North America it is also used as a slang term for cannabis. Credit DJ Rob Base in the song "It Takes Two"
Also means luck. Sample usage: "he shouldered the baggage, wished good cess to the wise jackass, and ..." (Dominic, p. 50, by William Steig, 1984).
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