rec·​i·​pe | \ ˈre-sə-(ˌ)pē How to pronounce recipe (audio) \

Definition of recipe

2 : a set of instructions for making something from various ingredients
3 : a formula or procedure for doing or attaining something a recipe for success

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The History of Receipt and Recipe

These days it may seem odd to speak of "grandma's cookie receipt," but at one time the only meaning of receipt was "recipe." The first recorded use of receipt is a reference to a medicinal preparation in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (c. 1386). Recipe didn't arrive until the 1500s, and it was also first used to describe medicine. Both words began to be applied to cooking only in the 18th century, after which recipe slowly became the preferred word. Receipt acquired its currently more familiar sense of "a written statement saying that money or goods have been received" in the 17th century. Both receipt and recipe are thought to be ultimately derived from Latin recipere ("to receive"), making them probable relatives as well as synonyms.

Examples of recipe in a Sentence

The recipe calls for fresh thyme. I didn't read the recipe carefully. This is one of my grandmother's recipes.
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Recent Examples on the Web The Department of Homeland Security has published a recipe — er, a decontamination guide — for cleaning N95 masks using your multicooker. TheWeek, "The Department of Homeland Security wants you to put your N95 mask in your Instant Pot," 19 June 2020 One man was charged for posting a crude napalm recipe that is widely available online. NBC News, "FBI trawled Facebook to arrest protesters for inciting riots, court records show," 18 June 2020 In a blog post published on Thursday, the company outlined the basic mechanics of its For You Page, revealing a recipe its users have long tried to estimate on their own. Louise Matsakis, Wired, "Tiktok Finally Explains How the ‘For You’ Algorithm Works," 18 June 2020 Scientists say the fires are an ominous start to what could be a very active fire season in the West, as the pandemic, wildfires and climate change all converge to create a recipe for potential disaster. Drew Kann, CNN, "Facing a record increase in coronavirus cases, Arizona is besieged by wildfires," 18 June 2020 Enjoy it in this healthier pumpkin muffin recipe for breakfast or make some cassava flour tortillas for your next taco night. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, "Cassava Flour Is Making a Name for Itself in Gluten-Free Baking: Here's How to Use It," 17 June 2020 Here is a recipe for disaster: Take one Texas hailstorm, add a senior with an older home and some savings, mix in a shady home repair contractor, and season liberally with the Texas standard home insurance policy. Dallas News, "Amateur hour: Tips for avoiding a common elder fraud," 14 June 2020 Today's recipe takes the popular chicken shawarma from sandwich to salad. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "Lower-fat yogurt dressing keeps Chicken Shawarma Salad healthful," 13 June 2020 That’s a recipe for disaster without a central repository to know who got what vaccine and when. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "When there's a coronavirus vaccine, how will we make sure everybody gets it? That's the job of state immunization registries.," 13 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recipe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of recipe

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for recipe

Latin, take, imperative of recipere to take, receive — more at receive

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Time Traveler for recipe

Time Traveler

The first known use of recipe was in 1533

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Statistics for recipe

Last Updated

24 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Recipe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for recipe


How to pronounce recipe (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of recipe

: a set of instructions for making food
: a way of doing something that will produce a particular result


rec·​i·​pe | \ ˈre-sə-pē How to pronounce recipe (audio) \

Kids Definition of recipe

: a set of instructions for making something (as a food dish) by combining various things


rec·​i·​pe | \ ˈres-ə-(ˌ)pē How to pronounce recipe (audio) \

Medical Definition of recipe

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More from Merriam-Webster on recipe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for recipe

Spanish Central: Translation of recipe

Nglish: Translation of recipe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of recipe for Arabic Speakers

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