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 The receptacle tissue of a strawberry will only plump up and develop flavor while attached to the plant. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, "How to keep strawberries fresh for longer, like a week or more," 5 Apr. 2021 Garbage in an overflowing street trash receptacle in New York on Feb. 23, 2021. Alana Semuels, Time, "'Garbage Freaking Everywhere' as Americans Venture Outdoors After a Year of Lockdowns," 26 Mar. 2021 If your city or town collects compost separately from waste and recycling material, a compost bin will easily facilitate the indoor collection so as to dispose in a larger receptacle outside. Anthony Marcusa,, "The best indoor compost bin," 21 Mar. 2021 To succeed in their hydration goals, many users carry around gallon-sized water bottles like a handbag, with a strap attached to the receptacle. Eliza Huber,, "Does Wearing Your Water Bottle Make You Drink More? An Investigation," 11 Mar. 2021 The receptacle will be available for residents and surrounding communities to use during Vineyard City office hours. Marina Mcnairy, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Vineyard installs disposal box for unused medications," 2 Mar. 2021 Prevent drafts around outlets and light switches inside exterior walls by adding insulating receptacle gaskets, which cost less than $5 each. Kevin Brasler, Star Tribune, "Cut energy use by improving insulation and sealing air leaks," 6 Mar. 2021 This new receptacle takes medication disposal to the next level, by destroying the pills. Marina Mcnairy, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Vineyard installs disposal box for unused medications," 2 Mar. 2021 Its upper estimate of $500,000 is nearly 14,300 times the receptacle’s original cost, notes Chinese newspaper World Journal. Isis Davis-marks, Smithsonian Magazine, "Porcelain Bowl Bought at Yard Sale for $35 Could Sell at Auction for $500,000," 1 Mar. 2021

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

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Receptacle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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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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