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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Rothman alleges the venue offered only weekdays to reschedule the wedding and reception. NBC News, "A $20,000 fee to change a wedding date? New bill aims to protect people from 'bad actor catering halls'," 19 Dec. 2020 The cases were traced back to a wedding and reception that took place on August 7 in Millinocket Lake, the Portland Herald reports. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "At Least 60 COVID-19 Cases Are Likely Connected to a Maine Wedding," 25 Aug. 2020 On Tuesday, Maine CDC said there was a total of 60 positive cases associated with the wedding and reception in Millinocket on August 7. Amanda Jackson, CNN, "Coronavirus outbreak at Maine nursing home and jail linked back to wedding reception," 25 Aug. 2020 Political appointees had meetings Monday and Tuesday, according to two federal officials, which culminated with a reception with food and drink in the secretary’s office. Washington Post, "Washington Monument shuttered after interior secretary tests positive for the coronavirus," 18 Dec. 2020 That argument, however, has not exactly been met with a warm reception by the conservative majority on the Supreme Court. Audrey Mcnamara, CBS News, "Crush of Obamacare signups expected before deadline," 15 Dec. 2020 After an six-play, 80-yard drive that ended with Gesicki’s second TD reception, the Dolphins moved 75 yards in 14 plays for a 1-yard touchdown sneak by Tagovailoa with 4:14 remaining that cut Kansas City’s lead to 30-24. Mark Inabinett |, al, "Tua Tagovailoa records his first 300-yard passing game for Dolphins," 14 Dec. 2020 Monk’s 5-yard catch gives him 178 consecutive games with a reception, breaking Steve Largent’s NFL mark. Houston Mitchell Assistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: UCLA routs San Diego, 83-56," 10 Dec. 2020 Making calls via your Wi-Fi connection may provide you with clearer reception than your cellular network does. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, "5 ways to boost your iPhone’s signal strength," 4 Dec. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about reception

Time Traveler for reception

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for reception

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reception.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for reception


How to pronounce reception (audio)

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 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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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