rec·​i·​pe | \ ˈre-sə-(ˌ)pē How to pronounce recipe (audio) \

Definition of recipe

2 : a set of instructions for making something from various ingredients
3 : a formula or procedure for doing or attaining something a recipe for success

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The History of Receipt and Recipe

These days it may seem odd to speak of "grandma's cookie receipt," but at one time the only meaning of receipt was "recipe." The first recorded use of receipt is a reference to a medicinal preparation in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (c. 1386). Recipe didn't arrive until the 1500s, and it was also first used to describe medicine. Both words began to be applied to cooking only in the 18th century, after which recipe slowly became the preferred word. Receipt acquired its currently more familiar sense of "a written statement saying that money or goods have been received" in the 17th century. Both receipt and recipe are thought to be ultimately derived from Latin recipere ("to receive"), making them probable relatives as well as synonyms.

Examples of recipe in a Sentence

The recipe calls for fresh thyme. I didn't read the recipe carefully. This is one of my grandmother's recipes.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Scale and get a printer-friendly version of the recipe here. Joe Yonan, Washington Post, "When the summer slows you down, this cold avocado soup will pick you up," 14 July 2019 Tired of cocktail recipes that call for expensive, obscure bottles and fancy-pants techniques? Al Culliton, Bon Appétit, "Rum + Sugar + Lime = 3 Perfect Summer Cocktails," 13 July 2019 All of the recipes are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and vegan., "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 6 July 2019 After Gram passed away peacefully in her sleep at age 89, my mother inherited her book of handwritten recipes. Susan Carpenter,, "Memories of picking blueberries with my grandmother," 5 July 2019 Fajitas were one of the recipes the team wanted to spend time on. Jennifer Bolton, Houston Chronicle, "League City barbecue restaurateurs’ latest venture: Mexican cantina," 2 July 2019 But in a twist, Bayless, a frequent guest to the Lit Fest stage, his daughter and her husband, will do dramatic readings of the recipes demoed. Grace Wong,, "Printer's Row Lit Fest features all-star cooking demos and author talks," 6 June 2019 Then, there are all the incredible 4th of July recipes to make. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Is McDonald's Open on the 4th of July in 2019?," 5 June 2019 These grain gurus could, quite literally, spend their whole careers tasting, testing, and torturing themselves in pursuit of the perfect recipe. Andrew Daniels, Popular Mechanics, "Here Comes the World’s First AI-Generated Whisky," 10 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recipe.' 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 recipe

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for recipe

Latin, take, imperative of recipere to take, receive — more at receive

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Statistics for recipe

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for recipe

The first known use of recipe was in 1533

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More Definitions for recipe



English Language Learners Definition of recipe

: a set of instructions for making food
: a way of doing something that will produce a particular result


rec·​i·​pe | \ ˈre-sə-pē How to pronounce recipe (audio) \

Kids Definition of recipe

: a set of instructions for making something (as a food dish) by combining various things


rec·​i·​pe | \ ˈres-ə-(ˌ)pē How to pronounce recipe (audio) \

Medical Definition of recipe

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More from Merriam-Webster on recipe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for recipe

Spanish Central: Translation of recipe

Nglish: Translation of recipe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of recipe for Arabic Speakers

Comments on recipe

What made you want to look up recipe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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