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 There are two flavors: DASH, which is made with Intelligentsia coffee and cacao, and ZOMBIE, a recipe that includes relaxing adaptogens like pandan, vanilla, and ashwagandha. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "OffLimits Is a New Cereal Brand for the Conscious Breakfast Lover," 9 July 2020 At this point in history, the dish has been so broadly incorporated into southern cooking that even Martha Stewart has a recipe for it. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Padma Lakshmi’s New Food Show Is a Trojan Horse," 8 July 2020 More than 30 Democratic lawmakers have called on Ducey to extend the eviction moratorium until January, noting that rising homelessness in the middle of the pandemic and triple-digit temperatures is a recipe for disaster. Catherine Reagor, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix and housing groups ask Ducey to extend Arizona's halt on evictions until end of 2020," 13 July 2020 This recipe works well for any size portion: simply adjust the oil, salt and lemon amounts to the size of the salmon. Justin Phillips,, "Bay Area salmon season is in full swing for home cooks but uncertain for fishers," 13 July 2020 Such behavior, however, isn’t a good recipe for stopping COVID-19 public health experts say. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "'No one is safe until everyone is safe': Vaccine nationalism threatens global coronavirus effort," 12 July 2020 That, compounded with high intensity exercise almost everyday, is a recipe for disaster for anyone, let alone someone with a hormone condition like PCOS. Sarah Madaus, SELF, "This Is a Love Letter to At-Home Workouts," 8 July 2020 Typically the ratio is one cup of rice to two cups of water but that changes according to the type of rice, the device it is cooked in and how much other liquid is required in the recipe. cleveland, "How to make a perfect pot of rice in a saucepan, Instant Pot or automatic cooker," 29 June 2020 Switching lenses or camera bodies in the middle of a protest is a recipe for disaster. Jess Grey, Wired, "How to Take Photos at Protests Safely—and Responsibly," 3 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

30 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Recipe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 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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