re·​ceive | \ ri-ˈsēv How to pronounce receive (audio) \
received; receiving

Definition of receive

transitive verb

1 : to come into possession of : acquire receive a gift
2a : to act as a receptacle or container for the cistern receives water from the roof
b : to assimilate through the mind or senses receive new ideas
3a : to permit to enter : admit
c : to react to in a specified manner
4 : to accept as authoritative, true, or accurate : believe
5a : to support the weight or pressure of : bear
b : to take (a mark or impression) from the weight of something some clay receives clear impressions
c : acquire, experience received his early schooling at home
d : to suffer the hurt or injury of received a broken nose

intransitive verb

1 : to be a recipient
2 : to be at home to visitors receives on Tuesdays
3 : to convert incoming radio waves into perceptible signals
4 : to prepare to take possession of the ball from a kick in football

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Synonyms & Antonyms for receive



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Examples of receive in a Sentence

… his stark and devastating description of Vichy collaborationism (which he based on German and American archives) was rather badly received in France … — Stanley Hoffmann, New York Times Book Review, 1 Nov. 1981 George, white-gloved, with a gardenia in his buttonhole, stood with his mother and the Major, embowered in the big red and gold drawing room downstairs, to "receive" the guests; and, standing thus together, the trio offered a picturesque example of good looks persistent through three generations. — Booth Tarkington, The Magnificent Ambersons, 1918 From this time the astronomer was received into familiar friendship, and partook of all their projects and pleasures: his respect kept him attentive, and the activity of Rasselas did not leave much time unengaged. — Samuel Johnson, Rasselas, 1759 You will be charged a late fee if the electric company does not receive your payment on time. I received a letter from her yesterday. You will receive a discount if you spend over $100. She received the news of his death with remarkable calmness.
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Recent Examples on the Web Qualified businesses that receive the grants can expect to have the money in their accounts by Dec. 30, Mumby said, if not sooner. James Whitlow,, "Harford County COVID-19 grant applications due Dec. 4 as CARES Act deadline looms," 1 Dec. 2020 Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially voted Tuesday to recommend that health care workers and long-term care facility residents should be the first Americans to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Audrey Mcnamara, CBS News, "CDC committee recommends health care workers and long-term care facility residents be first in line for COVID vaccine," 1 Dec. 2020 If all goes according to plan, the first Americans outside of the trial to receive the vaccine could get it as early as December 21, according to The New York Times. Popular Science, "Public health officials expect COVID-19 cases to spike like never before," 30 Nov. 2020 Fauci went on to explain that high-priority people — including essential workers, health care providers and those considered high-risk — will be the first to receive a vaccine in December. Ashley Boucher,, "Dr. Anthony Fauci Says Americans Who Want Coronavirus Vaccine Should Be Able to Get One by April," 30 Nov. 2020 Health-care workers will be the highest priority to receive the vaccine. Matt Goul, cleveland, "Should Ohio stop winter high school sports to fight the COVID-19 second wave? We asked three experts," 30 Nov. 2020 Duggan said frontline workers will likely be the first to receive the vaccine. M.l. Elrick, Detroit Free Press, "Mayor Duggan faults Washington, says it will take months to vaccinate Detroiters," 30 Nov. 2020 Students who receive meals at school will continue to get them during remote learning. Howard Koplowitz |, al, "Birmingham City Schools going remote next week," 30 Nov. 2020 This year, NuScale’s small reactors were the first to receive design approval from the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Commission. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Trump officials claim legacy of 'groundwork' for nuclear breakthrough," 29 Nov. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for receive

Middle English, from Anglo-French receivre, from Latin recipere, from re- + capere to take — more at heave entry 1

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Time Traveler for receive

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for receive

Last Updated

4 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Receive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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How to pronounce receive (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of receive

: to get or be given (something)
: to react to (something) in a specified way
formal : to welcome (someone) in usually a formal way


re·​ceive | \ ri-ˈsēv How to pronounce receive (audio) \
received; receiving

Kids Definition of receive

1 : to take or get something that is given, paid, or sent Did you receive the money I sent?
2 : experience entry 2 Stone Fox refused to speak with the white man because of the treatment his people had received.— John Reynolds Gardiner, Stone Fox
3 : to accept as a visitor or member : welcome She's too ill to receive friends.
4 : to change incoming radio waves into sounds or pictures

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