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

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Synonyms for reception


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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 There’s a primary pass catcher in his third season who reeled in 80-plus receptions for the second consecutive year. Ann Killion,, "This season’s 49ers bring to mind the ’81 team that launched the dynasty," 10 Jan. 2020 The 6-3, 260-pound Rau played in six career games with SMU without recording a reception. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football adds SMU graduate transfer Corey Rau as walk-on tight end," 9 Jan. 2020 Both defenses rank in the bottom five in yards per rush attempt, as well as receptions and receiving yards to opposing running backs. Brian Rudd, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Divisional Round: Houston Texans at Kansas City Chiefs odds, picks, and best bets," 9 Jan. 2020 Brown didn't make nearly the same splash last weekend, limited to one reception for 4 yards in Tennessee's upset of the Patriots. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "More than muscle: Rookie receivers DK Metcalf, A.J. Brown succeeding for reasons far beyond physiques," 9 Jan. 2020 The show plumbed how a holy figure’s personal hang-ups might shape his theology, and examined how persona—looks, manners, loafers—would figure into that theology’s reception. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The New Pope’s Old Magic," 8 Jan. 2020 Dell made some careful choices, arraying the antennas around the edges of the laptop and inserting plastic pieces strategically to improve reception. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "Dell's Latitude 9510 shakes up corporate laptops with 5G, machine learning, and thin bezels," 8 Jan. 2020 For the most part (Lala Kent's not-so-warm reception excluded), the reality star's behavior was on the up and up. Ineye Komonibo,, "The Evolution of Stassi Schroeder On Vanderpump Rules," 8 Jan. 2020 But after a rapturous reception in the British press, the couple’s relationship with the tabloid press soon deteriorated. Mark Landler, New York Times, "Prince Harry and Meghan to ‘Step Back’ From Royal Duties in Extraordinary Retreat," 8 Jan. 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.

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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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Time Traveler for reception

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for reception

Last Updated

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reception.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

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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

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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 feeling of well-being or elation

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