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

Essential Meaning of receive

1 : to get or be given (something) You will be charged a late fee if the electric company does not receive your payment on time. I received a letter/call from her yesterday. See More ExamplesYou will receive a discount if you spend over 0. This spring he'll receive [=be awarded] his PhD in physics.Hide
2 : to react to (something) in a specified way She received the news of his death with remarkable calmness.
3 formal : to welcome (someone) in usually a formal way The ambassador received [=greeted] his guests as they arrived at the party.

Full 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
b : welcome, greet
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

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 Furthermore, Samsung’s page notes that customers can receive $50 in Samsung Credit by preordering the new Galaxy phone or tablet from February 9th to February 24th. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 25 Jan. 2022 Its value soon plummeted, the couple stepped down from their positions, and there was a wave of anger at reports that Adam would receive close to $1.7 billion for severing most of his ties with the company. Radhika Seth, Vogue, 25 Jan. 2022 Overall, with both parts, what are your hopes for the message viewers will receive? Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 Jan. 2022 Candelora and other Republicans had been pushing that point months ago, saying that Connecticut could still receive the funding. Christopher Keating,, 24 Jan. 2022 Former team Club Atlético Peñarol will receive compensation for any future sale of the player, the source added. Mike Gramajo,, 24 Jan. 2022 Although the western reaches of Garrett County could receive 3 to 4 inches of snow, the Baltimore area is likely to only get between a coating and half an inch, said Connor Belak, a meteorologist for the weather service. Christine Condon,, 23 Jan. 2022 The percentage Blackstock will receive is equal to $908,800 of the home's $17,750,000 value. Danielle Harling, House Beautiful, 23 Jan. 2022 DeVore is also representing a group of Illinois teachers suing the state and 21 school districts in a separate lawsuit targeting the state’s requirement that school employees either receive the COVID-19 vaccine or test weekly. Karen Ann Cullotta,, 22 Jan. 2022

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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Last Updated

27 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Receive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for receive


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

More from Merriam-Webster on receive

Nglish: Translation of receive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of receive for Arabic Speakers


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