re·​cep·​tion ri-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce reception (audio)
: the act or action or an instance of receiving: such as
: receipt
the reception and distribution of funds
: admission
reception into the church
: response, reaction
the play met with a mixed reception
: the receiving of a radio or television broadcast
: the catching of a forward pass by a receiver
: a social gathering often for the purpose of extending a formal welcome

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Johnny Wilson and Coleman combined for 10 receptions (five each) for 180 yards. Ryan Morik, Fox News, 23 Sep. 2023 Madden Craig had two TD receptions, one for 81 yards. John Maffei, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Sep. 2023 In an interview on CNN, the governor said the president shared the news this week that his administration would expand T.P.S. for Venezuelans during a glitzy reception at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. Luis Ferré-Sadurní, New York Times, 22 Sep. 2023 Unlike another hotel in the city, Raffles has a triple-level Sky Lobby reception on the 17th to 19th floors with a grand staircase. Linda Laban, Robb Report, 21 Sep. 2023 There will be a free opening reception from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and the exhibition runs until Nov. 4. Steven Vargas, Los Angeles Times, 20 Sep. 2023 The leading receivers are Tucker Tomlinson (31 receptions, 471 yards, 3 TDs) and Brody Jones (18 receptions, 285 yards, 4 TDs). Ben Thomas |, al, 19 Sep. 2023 Stats: 871 kills, 915 digs, 227 serve aces, 1,017 serve receptions in her career. Tom Lang, Detroit Free Press, 3 Sep. 2023 Utah State wide receiver Terrell Vaughn (0) tries to make a reception in front of Iowa defensive back Sebastian Castro (29) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023, in Iowa City, Iowa. The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'reception.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near reception

Cite this Entry

“Reception.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


re·​cep·​tion ri-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce reception (audio)
: the act or process of receiving, welcoming, or accepting
a warm reception
: the receiving of a radio or television broadcast
: a social gathering
a wedding reception

More from Merriam-Webster on reception

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!