rec·i·pe | \ ˈre-sə-(ˌ)pē \

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

Yet at its core are steel reactors that still use a century-old recipe for making ammonia. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Ammonia—a renewable fuel made from sun, air, and water—could power the globe without carbon," 12 July 2018 Cailan previously collaborated with Bob’s Burgers to create recipes for pop-up restaurants in LA and NYC in December of 2016 and 2017. Emily Price, Fortune, "Blue Apron Is Featuring 'Bob's Burgers' Recipes This Summer," 12 July 2018 Add any type of cherry to your pre-workout breakfast with this recipe for Cherry Chocolate Overnight Oats. NBC News, "8 summer superfoods to eat after a tough workout," 11 July 2018 President Donald Trump and other top administration officials have spent months railing against the release of immigrant families as a recipe for widespread lawlessness. Dara Lind, Vox, "A new study blows up Trump’s “catch-and-release” myth," 11 July 2018 And like any famous invention, there is disagreement about who first came up with the recipe for the drink. Cassie Armstrong,, "Piña Colada Day: How to observe in Central Florida," 10 July 2018 Police and city officials struggled for years with strategies to reduce violence in Englewood and Harrison, both stricken by poverty, joblessness and school closures — all recipes for persistent crime. Jeremy Gorner,, "With high-tech help, there's been less bloodshed in Chicago this year, but results are mixed on the West Side," 4 July 2018 The patterns can also be influenced by adjusting the ratios of the chemicals involved, much like adjusting a recipe for a cake. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "O say can you see? The science behind the booms and blooms of Independence Day fireworks," 3 July 2018 Besides, injuries shouldn’t be treated like the recipe for Coke. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "It's time for college football, NCAA to embrace injury reports with gambling influence rising," 3 July 2018

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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Phrases Related to recipe

recipe book

recipe for disaster

Statistics for recipe

Last Updated

25 Sep 2018

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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 \

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 \

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).


characteristic trappings or dress

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