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
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

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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 The Washington Examiner contacted Dirigo Treasures for comment but did not immediately receive a response. Jeremy Beaman, Washington Examiner, "Maine couple hides $20,000 for treasure hunt celebrating state's bicentennial," 7 Apr. 2021 Kim McGee, also with BLM — Gary, said the group submitted a letter to Carter in July seeking transparency, but did not receive a response. Carrie Napoleon,, "Family, Black Lives Matter-Gary call for more accountability in 2019 police shooting of man, 83, in Gary: Prosecutor announced grand jury on Monday," 7 Apr. 2021 Ohioans aren’t required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, but state Rep. Jennifer Gross has introduced legislation to ensure people can opt out of getting one. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, "Dr. Amy Acton passes on U.S. Senate bid: Capitol Letter," 7 Apr. 2021 After getting more than 300,000 doses of the J&J vaccine this week, Florida is only in line to receive 37,000 the week of April 12, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday. Richard Tribou,, "Johnson & Johnson vaccine shortage cuts Florida supply next week, down nearly 270k doses," 7 Apr. 2021 Many thought the rapper would become the first artist to receive a posthumous Grammy nod for best new artist. Paul Grein, Billboard, "Roddy Ricch Leads 2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards Nominees," 7 Apr. 2021 Throughout the pandemic and vaccine rollout, Gov. Mike DeWine has encouraged Ohioans to receive COVID-19 shots, even getting his vaccine on camera, but has made clear the vaccine isn't mandatory. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, "Ohio GOP lawmakers want to protect those refusing COVID-19 shot from discrimination," 7 Apr. 2021 How much each player was entitled to receive was determined by comparing playing time to compensation. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Bradley Bozeman among performance-based pay leaders," 7 Apr. 2021 Nearly 350,000 Nebraskans have registered with the state online to receive a vaccine. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Food banks, passing on passports, governors’ shots: News from around our 50 states," 7 Apr. 2021

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

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Receive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for receive



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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