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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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

The reception will allegedly follow at Castle Howard. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ellie Goulding's Intricately Embroidered Chloé Wedding Gown Took Over 640 Hours to Make," 31 Aug. 2019 Lara wore fingerless gloves during the reception to hide the bandages. Gregory E. Miller, Town & Country, "Who Is Lara Trump? 10 Things to Know About the President’s Daughter-in-Law," 21 Aug. 2019 And when the Target crew finally escaped the stuffy greenroom and faced their investors in person, the reception didn’t get any more sympathetic. Fortune, "Big-Box Rebound: How Target Packaged a Turnaround," 20 Aug. 2019 Half the conference’s teams had two or three tight ends catch more than the six total receptions from the Gophers’ Bryce Witham, Ko Kieft and Jake Paulson a year ago. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Gophers’ tight end production was nonexistent in 2018, but that could quickly change," 15 Aug. 2019 Gun-control measures are likely to get a similar reception from House Speaker Larry Householder, who aired a campaign ad last year showing him shooting a TV with a rifle. Jeremy Pelzer,, "Ohio legislature remains cool to gun-control reforms after Dayton shootings," 5 Aug. 2019 That’s because the technology that transformed American homes and offices over the last century still gets a chilly reception in much of Europe. New York Times, "A Heat Wave Bakes Europe, Where Air-Conditioning Is Scarce," 25 July 2019 Marcus is likely to get a frosty reception from other Democratic lawmakers who already believe the company is too large and careless with consumer data. NBC News, "U.S. Senate opens hearing into Facebook plans for Libra cryptocurrency," 16 July 2019 Trump's replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has gotten a chilly reception from House Democrats. Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "President Trump heads to Milwaukee to push for trade deal with Mexico and Canada," 12 July 2019

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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Statistics for reception

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

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 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).


authorized for issue (as a bond)

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