re·cep·tion | \ri-ˈsep-shən \

Definition of reception 

1 : the act or action or an instance of receiving: such as

a : receipt the reception and distribution of funds

b : admission reception into the church

c : response, reaction the play met with a mixed reception

d : the receiving of a radio or television broadcast

e : the catching of a forward pass by a receiver

2 : a social gathering often for the purpose of extending a formal welcome

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Did You Know?

Reception is the noun form of receive. So at a formal reception, guests are received or welcomed or "taken in". A bad TV reception means the signal isn't being received well. When a new novel receives good reviews, we say it has met with a good critical reception. If it gets a poor reception, on the other hand, that's the same as saying that it wasn't well-received.

Examples of reception in a Sentence

The school held a reception for the new students and their families. He decided to run for a seat on the school committee only a year after his reception into the community. Her job is to deal with the reception of donations.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Johnson shouldn’t have been surprised by his reception. Gary D'amato, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "D'Amato: It's time for the Bucks to retire Marques Johnson's jersey number," 14 July 2018 Consider this party to be their wedding reception, on a 10-year tape delay. Amy Dickinson,, "Woman's #MeToo moments lead to despair," 13 July 2018 Consider this party to be their wedding reception, on a 10-year tape delay. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Woman’s MeToo moments lead to despair," 13 July 2018 All but one of his scores and 18 of his 29 receptions came during Missouri’s six-game winning streak to end the regular season. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "The 10 best tight ends in college football," 13 July 2018 The president did not appear to be joking but has privately complained his possible reception. William Booth And Karla Adam, Washington Post, "‘I think they like me a lot in the U.K.,’ Trump says, as he faces mass protests in Britain," 12 July 2018 George Northwood, the stylist who did Meghan's hair for her wedding reception is traveling with the royal couple in Ireland this week. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Wears a Chic Black Suit on Her Second Day in Ireland," 11 July 2018 But the insular nature of Blomkamp’s films may be part of the problem in terms of their reception. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why 'Robocop' and Neill Blomkamp Need Each Other," 11 July 2018 The touching vows are followed by footage of the couple's first kiss and dance at their 1920s themed reception. Fox News, "Kaley Cuoco and Karl Cook's wedding video teaser reveals their emotional vows," 10 July 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for reception

Middle English recepcion, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French reception, from Latin reception-, receptio, from recipere

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Phrases Related to reception

reception area

reception class

reception room

Statistics for reception

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reception

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

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More Definitions for reception



English Language Learners Definition of reception

: the kind of welcome that someone or something is given

: a social gathering to celebrate something or to welcome someone

: the act or process of receiving, welcoming, or accepting something or someone


re·cep·tion | \ri-ˈsep-shən \

Kids Definition of reception

1 : the act or manner of welcoming We got a warm reception from our new neighbors.

2 : a social gathering to celebrate something or welcome someone a wedding reception

3 : the ability to receive a radio or television broadcast

4 : the act of catching a pass thrown toward the opponent's goal

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Comments on reception

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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