noun rec·i·pe \ ˈre-sə-(ˌ)pē \
Updated on: 22 May 2018

Definition of recipe

1 : prescription 4a
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

Examples of recipe in a Sentence

  1. The recipe calls for fresh thyme.

  2. I didn't read the recipe carefully.

  3. This is one of my grandmother's recipes.

Recent Examples of recipe from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of recipe

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

RECIPE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of recipe for English Language Learners

  • : a set of instructions for making food

  • : a way of doing something that will produce a particular result

RECIPE Defined for Kids


noun rec·i·pe \ ˈre-sə-pē \

Definition of recipe for Students

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

History for recipe

In the Middle Ages, a doctor's instructions for taking a drug would begin with the Latin word recipe, literally, “take!” Recipe is a form used in commands of the verb recipere, meaning “to take” or “to receive.” The verb receive itself comes from Latin recipere, but through French—as does the word receipt, which was once commonly used to mean “recipe.” From its use as a name for a drug prescription, recipe extended its meaning to cover instructions for making other things we consume, such as prepared food.

Medical Dictionary


noun rec·i·pe \ ˈres-ə-(ˌ)pē \

medical Definition of recipe

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to seize or ascribe

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