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

Visitors start their experience in the reception area and continue into the distilling operation. Gabe Hauari, The Courier-Journal, "Tour these top Kentucky distilleries. Shocker! They're mostly bourbon," 20 June 2018 The Duchess of Sussex's wedding-reception dress may have been a custom creation, but the Telegraph reports that the designer plans on releasing a limited range inspired by Meghan's gown that will be available for purchase. Ana Colon, Glamour, "Stella McCartney Will Sell Replicas of Meghan Markle's Wedding Dress," 14 June 2018 Also on the ground floor is a carpeted activity room with the capacity for up to 95 people, depending on the seating, and a large lobby and reception area with polished concrete floors. Phil Diehl,, "Pine Park prepares to unveil $11 million upgrade," 12 May 2018 The interview was published online as May greeted Trump at a lavish welcome reception at Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Trump slams May over 'very unfortunate' Brexit plan, says 'it will probably kill' US trade deal," 13 July 2018 After a reception at 5:15 p.m., dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Entree choices are fish, chicken or beef with soup or salad, dinner rolls, vegetables, dessert and nonalcoholic drink for $20. Joy Davis, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora church to celebrate anniversary," 12 July 2018 Perks: Horseback rides, paddleboarding and a reception at Laura and Gary Lauder’s home. Christopher Ross, WSJ, "The Top 5 CEO Conferences Catering to the World’s Power Players," 10 July 2018 Edmonton Eskimos receiver Derel Walker could have had a touchdown reception but slipped making the transition to turf, and the pass was intercepted. Jonathan Jones,, "Flag Football, CFL and Making the Most of Football’s Dog Days," 10 July 2018 That was in the autumn of 2014: war was raging in eastern Ukraine, the Group of 20 was meeting in Australia, and the Russian president faced a frosty reception from Western leaders. The Economist, "Vladimir Putin’s hopes for his long-awaited meeting with Donald Trump," 14 July 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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Phrases Related to reception

reception area

reception class

reception room

Statistics for reception

Last Updated

7 Oct 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

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