re·​ceiv·​er·​ship | \ ri-ˈsē-vər-ˌship How to pronounce receivership (audio) \

Definition of receivership

1 : the office or function of a receiver
2 : the state of being in the hands of a receiver

Examples of receivership in a Sentence

Years of financial difficulty eventually placed the company into receivership.

Recent Examples on the Web

Apiscent was formed by a group that bought Fontarome Chemical Inc. out of receivership for $2.5 million in 2014. Rick Romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "St. Francis chemical business lands in receivership for second time in four years," 22 June 2018 The Union Pacific Railway entered receivership in 1893. James Freeman, WSJ, "When Banks Bailed Out the Government," 3 Aug. 2018 But by May subcontractors were going unpaid, and in June the company abruptly went into receivership, a bankruptcy-like proceeding. Jim Brunner, The Seattle Times, "Dino Rossi has done well in real estate, but his work is also fodder for campaign opponents," 16 Oct. 2018 Businesses in receivership include Bright Smile Financing, which finances dental procedures, payday lender Ganador Enterprises and Digi South, which used to own Playgirl and other adult magazines. Peg Brickley, WSJ, "SEC Accuses Former Playgirl Magazine Owner of Defrauding Investors," 29 Aug. 2018 Closer to home, and inexcusably, practically every social-service agency was well on its way to court receivership. Anthony A. Williams, Washington Post, "Washington has come far in 50 years, but is there a way to make it work for everyone?," 27 Mar. 2018 The receivership conducted an audit of the prison that year, and concluded that sanitation had to be addressed immediately. Adam Ashton, sacbee, "Disabled workers fear losing their jobs at California prison | The Sacramento Bee," 23 May 2018 Khouri's announcement came after the state released the Highland Park School District from receivership. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan without state-appointed emergency managers for first time in 18 years," 27 June 2018 Parents, teachers and community members first learned of the budget deficit that led to Murphy's receivership three days before a raucous February school board meeting. Ricardo Cano, azcentral, "'We're asking for help': State will take over dysfunctional Murphy school district," 25 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of receivership

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about receivership

Share receivership

Statistics for receivership

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for receivership

The first known use of receivership was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for receivership



Financial Definition of receivership

What It Is

Receivership is a form of bankruptcy in which a court-appointed trustee reorganizes the bankrupt entity.

How It Works

In a receivership, a receiver takes custody of the company's property and operations. A court appoints the receiver.

The receiver's job is to pay down as much debt as possible. This usually means selling company assets, laying off employees and liquidating inventories.

Why It Matters

Companies that are in receivership are at the mercy of the receiver. In fact, the receivers control the company, making decisions large and small, and the receivers have court-appointed authority to do so. Accordingly, companies that are in receivership are usually on their last legs.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of receivership

law : the state of a business that has been placed under the control of a receiver because it is bankrupt


re·​ceiv·​er·​ship | \ ri-ˈsē-vər-ˌship How to pronounce receivership (audio) \

Legal Definition of receivership

1 : the office or function of a receiver
2 : a proceeding in which a receiver is appointed
3 : the state of being in the hands of a receiver — compare bankruptcy

More from Merriam-Webster on receivership

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with receivership Encyclopedia article about receivership

Comments on receivership

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


of or relating to a parable or parabola

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!