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


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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 Detectives later recovered clothing and household goods from trash receptacles with Jennifer Dulos' blood on it. Eric Levenson, CNN, "Authorities believe Fotis Dulos, the estranged husband of missing Connecticut mom, attempted suicide," 29 Jan. 2020 There is a receptacle in the Memorial Building for all sorts of HCS Family Services donations including unopened and unused toiletries of any size, all manner of paper products, cleaning products and of course food including pet food. Sara Clarkson,, "Clarkson: HCS Family Services is more than a food pantry," 23 Oct. 2019 The well is the receptacle for all of that brutality and whatever Ares crimes followed. Ariana Romero,, "Netflix’s Ares Pulled Off The Most Disturbing Finale Possible. This Is How To Make Sense Of It," 22 Jan. 2020 Robbie's Tate was seen by some as a passive receptacle for the male gaze, a dreamy fantasy girl destined to be forever associated with her tragic ending. Paula Bernstein, Fortune, "These Oscar Best Picture nominees are ‘problematic’—but will that matter?," 16 Jan. 2020 To safely dispose of used lithium-ion batteries, take them to a local recycling center or place in a receptacle specially designed for recycling batteries. Dallas News, "Tips for using power tools like a pro," 11 Jan. 2020 The circular waste receptacle can hold 17-ounces of debris, and the vac spins dirt away from the (washable!) filter to maintain performance. Billy Cadden, Popular Science, "The best vacuums for any kind of mess," 16 Jan. 2020 Passengers began noticing the bright blue receptacles outside the TSA checkpoints at O'Hare and Midway last week. Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, "Now that marijuana is legal in Illinois, there are pot amnesty boxes at Chicago's airports," 10 Jan. 2020 Kardashian first showed off an immaculate pantry, a shop-display-like array of identical glass receptacles topped with what look like marble lids. Washington Post, "— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian)," 9 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for receptacle

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for receptacle

Last Updated

24 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Receptacle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce receptacle (audio)

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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