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 Williams wonders: What if, in the future, a suicidal patient could receive TMS in the emergency room and be quickly pulled out of their depressive mental spiral? Isabella Cueto, STAT, 14 Jan. 2022 And lower-income policyholders receive subsidies that eliminate their premiums. Tami Luhby, CNN, 13 Jan. 2022 Typically and ideally patients receive care in cordoned off bays. Shari Rudavsky, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Jan. 2022 The top five films from the opt-in chapter vote in Round One automatically receive a nomination. K.j. Yossman, Variety, 12 Jan. 2022 Sheriffs also receive revenues each year from the annual permits. al, 12 Jan. 2022 The fields probably receive proper maintenance, but players want assurances and comfort, especially after this past season. Mike Preston,, 12 Jan. 2022 As of May 2021, all eligible households receive at least $95 in the extra benefits, according to MDHHS. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 12 Jan. 2022 After the hour, there is also a question-and-answer session where residents are able to get advice and upon completing the class, attendants receive a 50-page resource manual and a certificate. Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12 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

15 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

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