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 More than 900 breweries from 50 states and 17 countries — including 14 from Wisconsin — have pledged to make his recipe (or a variation) and to bring momentum to the cause of social injustice. Kathy Flanigan, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "He created the Black Is Beautiful beer initiative. Here's what he hopes happens next.," 2 July 2020 His recipe for Grilled Royal Reds with Lemony Garlic Butter has become our go-to. Sheri Castle, Southern Living, "Everything You Need to Know About Royal Red Shrimp," 30 June 2020 Their recipe for steak bites is made extra delicious with 14-day dry-aged sirloin from their grass-fed Jersey steers. Beth Segal, cleveland, "Fourth of July grilling: Raising the stakes with steak," 29 June 2020 Police advocates argue that cutting uniformed officers at a time of spiking crime rates is a recipe for disaster. Sonia Moghe, Ray Sanchez And Mark Morales, CNN, "As US cities cut police budgets, the nation's largest force faces financial reckoning," 27 June 2020 Chlorine or sea salt in little eyes is a recipe for (understandable) unhappiness. Krystin Arneson, CNN Underscored, "Shop one-day deals on Champion, New Balance and Speedo at Amazon’s Big Style Sale," 23 June 2020 Forcing sailors to work endlessly is a recipe for accidents. The Economist, "Sailors are stranded at sea Cargo ship crews are stuck at sea," 20 June 2020 Seeing your peppermint brownie recipe in a janky online newspaper will not redistribute the world's wealth and power. Chris Colin, Wired, "News at 11: Kid Reporters Tackle the Coronavirus," 18 June 2020 Increasing the funds available to police without also implementing dramatic conceptual changes to what policing is, and what police officers do on the job, is a recipe for disaster. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "The Solution to Police Murder Is Not More Money," 17 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for recipe

Time Traveler

The first known use of recipe was in 1533

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Statistics for recipe

Last Updated

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Recipe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for recipe


How to pronounce recipe (audio)

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

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