re·​cep·​ta·​cle | \ ri-ˈsep-ti-kəl How to pronounce receptacle (audio) \

Definition of receptacle

1 : one that receives and contains something : container

2 [ New Latin receptaculum, from Latin ]

a : the end of the flower stalk upon which the floral organs are borne
b : a structure or tissue (as of a fungus or fern) bearing spores or sporangia
3 : a mounted female electrical fitting that contains the live parts of the circuit

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Synonyms for receptacle


container, holder, vessel

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Examples of receptacle in a Sentence

She used the box as a receptacle for her jewelry. place all wrappers in the trash receptacles at the entrances of the theater

Recent Examples on the Web

Previously, the Activity app was a receptacle for your move, exercise, and stand data. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Apple’s watchOS 6 brings new apps (and various iPhone apps) to Watch," 3 June 2019 City staff estimated that about 3,000 of the 6,316 households now using 65-gallon receptacles will switch to the smaller 35-gallon size. Graydon Megan,, "Elmhurst refuse contract will offer smaller garbage receptacles, organize waste collection," 9 Jan. 2018 And maybe that makes people treat me like some sort of receptacle for all their grief and rage and disappointment. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "The Affair’s latest, greatest episode holds a difficult irony at its core," 19 Aug. 2018 At Azalea Cove, upgrades will include a new drinking water system, the addition of bear-proof food receptacles and a new vehicle parking area. Cathy Locke, sacbee, "SMUD to upgrade campgrounds in Crystal Basin Recreation Area | The Sacramento Bee," 20 Apr. 2018 That Woman’—saddled, as a young woman, with the false narrative that my mouth was merely a receptacle for a powerful man’s desire. Anna North, Vox, "Monica Lewinsky is finally having her moment," 15 Nov. 2018 In the second video, Kaley is the only one still eating the food and a member of the crew is seen stacking plates and dumping the remaining grub in what appears to be a trash receptacle. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Kaley Cuoco Responds to 'Big Bang Theory' Fans Outraged About Her Behind-the-Scenes Instagram," 14 Nov. 2018 On Thursday, Wheeler said his program would include installing more trash cans in the city core and establishing regular pickups at the receptacles, the report said. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "Mayor vows to make Portland, Ore., 'cleanest and most livable' in US," 7 Sep. 2018 The patrons have been amassing art and antiques for many years, and this house is the perfect receptacle for their blue-chip collection, which ranges from classical sculptures to artworks from the 17th through the 20th centuries. Whitney Robinson, ELLE Decor, "A Maximalist Dream Home Comes to Life In Seville," 5 Sep. 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for receptacle

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin receptaculum, from receptare to receive, frequentative of recipere to receive

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Statistics for receptacle

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for receptacle

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

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English Language Learners Definition of receptacle

formal : a container that is used to hold something
US : a device into which an electric cord can be plugged in order to provide electricity for a lamp, television, etc.


re·​cep·​ta·​cle | \ ri-ˈsep-tə-kəl How to pronounce receptacle (audio) \

Kids Definition of receptacle

: something used to receive and hold smaller objects a trash receptacle

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Comments on receptacle

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


a device or gadget

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