re·​cep·​tion | \ ri-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce reception (audio) \

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

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 The Washington Post nixed its traditional predinner reception this year. Washington Post, 28 Apr. 2022 Their rehearsal dinner was at North High Brewing Co. in Ohio City, and their reception dinner was at Forest City Brewing Co. in Cleveland. cleveland, 25 Apr. 2022 The couple did not break the bank with their reception either, because guests paid for their own food and drinks. Nathan Solis, Los Angeles Times, 19 Apr. 2022 After the ceremony, Meghan changed to head to her reception at Frogmore House (top) and was first photographed wearing the colorful piece of jewelry. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, 16 Apr. 2022 Did its disastrous reception contribute to the couple calling off their engagement the next month? Tyler Aquilina,, 10 Apr. 2022 The ball now heads back to Washington’s court—where its reception remains highly uncertain. Jacky Wong, WSJ, 4 Apr. 2022 Her sister, Luci Johnson, held her reception at the White House the year prior, following a ceremony at a nearby church. Kate Bennett, CNN, 4 Apr. 2022 The newlyweds share a kiss in one photo, while the pair laugh and play rock, paper, scissors during their reception in another. Charmaine Patterson,, 31 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for reception

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

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reception area

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reception.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for reception


re·​cep·​tion | \ ri-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce reception (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on reception

Nglish: Translation of reception for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reception for Arabic Speakers


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