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

Yesterday the Duchess greeted military families with her husband Prince William at a holiday event early in the evening before joining her Majesty the Queen for a diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Kate Middleton Just Raised the Bar on Airport Style," 5 Dec. 2018 The two were married on September 16, 1995, at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York, and had a reception at Essex House. Megan Friedman, Good Housekeeping, "Al Roker and His Wife Deborah Roberts Have a Sweet, Enduring Love Story," 21 Nov. 2018 To the thousands of Central American migrants making their way through Mexico’s Pacific coast state of Nayarit, the prospect of meeting a hostile reception at the border is nothing new. Maria Verza, The Seattle Times, "US hardens border at Tijuana to prepare for migrant caravan," 13 Nov. 2018 There’s even a new antenna line running along the bottom of the phone as discovered by a recent iFixit teardown, which should have helped with reception. Dami Lee, The Verge, "iPhone XS and XS Max users are reporting poor cell and Wi-Fi reception," 24 Sep. 2018 Discovery's first season got a lukewarm reception at best. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "Everything We Know So Far About 'Star Trek: Discovery' Season 2," 5 Sep. 2018 At a reception marking the centenary of the Royal Air Force at Buckingham Palace, Markle wore her hair in a low center bun with a Stephen Jones fascinator. Wendy Sy, Allure, "Happy Birthday, Duchess: See Meghan Markle’s Hair Evolution Through the Years," 4 Aug. 2018 Recently, the Literacy Coalition celebrated its fifth anniversary in the building with a reception for donors, board members, volunteers and staff. Kari Barnett,, "Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County looks back on 5 years in new building," 12 July 2018 Later that evening, around 200 guests are being invited to the reception at Frogmore House given by The Prince of Wales. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Inside Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Evening Reception Venue, Frogmore House," 24 Nov. 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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Statistics for reception

Last Updated

30 Dec 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).


a person who helps groups work together

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