re·​ceipt | \ri-ˈsēt \

Definition of receipt 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a writing acknowledging the receiving of goods or money

2 : the act or process of receiving

3 : something received usually used in plural

4 : recipe

5a obsolete : receptacle

b archaic : a revenue office


receipted; receipting; receipts

Definition of receipt (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to give a receipt for or acknowledge the receipt of

2 : to mark as paid

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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 receipt in a Sentence


Keep your receipt in case you need to return anything. The form should be completed and returned within 30 days of receipt. Open immediately upon receipt of the package. Our company deposits cash receipts every day.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Investigators in Louisville tracked the last four digits of the credit card printed on the McDonald's receipt to Willett. Beth Warren, The Courier-Journal, "How a McDonald's receipt crippled an elite Louisville drug-fighting team," 18 June 2018 The boat listed on the receipt hadn’t been there in at least two years. Robin Mcdowell, Washington Post, "AP Investigation: Fish billed as local isn’t always local," 14 June 2018 The boat listed on the receipt hadn't been there in at least two years., "'Sustainably caught' seafood? Nationwide distributor's murky supply chain exposed," 14 June 2018 While the search was going on, police also went to Walgreens on Grandview to review surveillance footage based on the receipt found in the car. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Waukesha police say she led them on a high-speed chase. She says it was someone who looked like her," 30 May 2018 Kopser, 47, rebounded from a second-place finish in the March primary to a 58-42 percent victory over Mary Wilson, who raised less than one-tenth of Kopser’s $1.1 in receipts and had just $10,000 in her campaign treasury this month. Bill Lambrecht, San Antonio Express-News, "S.A. congressional races set for November, and the money is pouring in," 23 May 2018 Factoring in gate receipts and television revenues only adds to the discrepancy. Jonathan Wilson,, "FA Cup Victory a Probable Farewell Gift for Antonio Conte," 19 May 2018 Upload a photo of the receipt and receive $5 cash back from your purchase at any restaurant or bar. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Mother's Day restaurant deals to help you celebrate," 10 May 2018 Her mother posted a photo of the receipt to social media, and friends shared it more than 400 more times. Aaron Randle, kansascity, "Teen 'distraught and upset' after KC-area IHOP server prints N-word on her receipt | The Kansas City Star," 2 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'receipt.' 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 receipt


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4


1787, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for receipt


Middle English receite, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin recepta, probably from Latin, neuter plural of receptus, past participle of recipere to receive

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Statistics for receipt

Last Updated

1 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for receipt

The first known use of receipt was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for receipt



English Language Learners Definition of receipt

: a piece of paper on which the things that you buy or the services that you pay for are listed with the total amount paid and the prices for each

: the act of receiving something

receipts : money that a business, bank, or government receives


re·​ceipt | \ri-ˈsēt \

Kids Definition of receipt

1 : a written statement saying that money or goods have been received

2 : recipe

3 : the act of receiving I acknowledged receipt of the letter.

4 receipts plural : something received Put the receipts from the sale in a safe place.


re·​ceipt | \ri-ˈsēt \

Legal Definition of receipt 

1 : the act, process, or fact of taking possession

2 : something (as income) received usually used in pl.

3 : a writing acknowledging the receiving of goods or money

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Comments on receipt

What made you want to look up receipt? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

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