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 One memorable flex occurred seconds after Brown tackled an Oklahoma receiver following a 13-yard reception — odd timing. Nick Moyle,, "Swaggering Texas Longhorns safety Chris Brown plays big," 19 Nov. 2020 The reception, held in August in Millinocket, a rural Maine town, made headlines over the summer as the outbreak continued to unfold. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "Coronavirus outbreak linked to Washington wedding, officials asking over 300 to quarantine," 17 Nov. 2020 There was a reception to be held for Anderson after the game. Drew Champlin, al, "Vestavia Hills sends legendary coach Buddy Anderson out a winner," 31 Oct. 2020 The team reception, held for all competitors — from Fiji’s smattering to the United States' throng — has become a Games tradition. Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Salt Lake City-Utah Olympic committee expects to follow Tokyo in trimming budget," 22 Oct. 2020 There will be a reception from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 24) at the West Side Irish-American Club, 8559 Jennings Road, Olmsted Township. cleveland, "Seniors learn visiting healthcare centers can be safe: Olmsted Dates and Data," 19 Oct. 2020 The list of eye-popping numbers from Clemson's 73-7 rout of Georgia Tech includes 17 players who made at least one reception, which is absolutely ridiculous. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "College football winners and losers from Week 7 include Clemson, Auburn and Tennessee," 18 Oct. 2020 There was also a private reception inside the White House after the Rose Garden ceremony, where some politicians, including North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis, who has since tested positive, were pictured not wearing masks. Hope Yen, Star Tribune, "AP FACT CHECK: Trump's shaky claims on virus, Dem misfires," 11 Oct. 2020 There was no social distancing at the ceremony, very few people wore masks, and there was also an indoor White House reception. Grace Segers, CBS News, "McConnell says he hasn't been to the White House recently because of its limited safety measures," 8 Oct. 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

23 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reception.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Nov. 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

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