rec·​re·​a·​tion ˌre-krē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce recreation (audio)
: refreshment of strength and spirits after work
also : a means of refreshment or diversion : hobby

Example Sentences

The fields next to the school are used for recreation. decided to take a bike tour of the island for recreation and relaxation
Recent Examples on the Web North East Beach Not to be confused with North Beach nearly two and a half hours away, North East Beach is part of Elk Neck State Park, an area on the peninsula popular for outdoor recreation and the historic Turkey Point Lighthouse. Karen Ruffini, Travel + Leisure, 17 May 2023 Heavy snowfall and increasing demand for outdoor recreation coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic are two of the biggest drivers behind the high numbers this season, per NSAA. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 May 2023 The city's previous recreation center in Murphy Park included a game room. Laurinda Joenks, Arkansas Online, 16 May 2023 Kmosko was hired by Hocking College as a coordinator of the student center and campus recreation, and as a soccer coach in July 2021, according to the lawsuit. Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, 15 May 2023 Ethan, one of a set of triplets who all attended the University of Idaho, was majoring in recreation, sport and tourism management. Lilia Luciano, CBS News, 8 May 2023 One of his first jobs was as a lifeguard at a nearby recreation center. Dianne Solis, Dallas News, 3 May 2023 The first of those events, a panel discussion on April 30, will look at the years of graffiti that have accumulated at Turkey Bend, a warehouse, tunnel and waterfront wharf that will soon become a park and recreation hub. Brittanie Shey, Chron, 27 Apr. 2023 Funds from the event help to support funds for parks and recreation, athletics, and scholarships. Marina Johnson, Detroit Free Press, 26 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'recreation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English recreacioun "act of refreshment, action of amusing," borrowed from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Late Latin recreātiōn-, recreātiō "spiritual refreshment, amusement, new birth," going back to Latin, "act of restoring," from recreāre "to make new, restore, revive" (from re- re- + creāre "to bring into being, beget, give birth to") + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at create entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of recreation was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near recreation

Cite this Entry

“Recreation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


: refreshment of mind or body after work or worry : diversion
: a way of refreshing mind or body
hiking and gardening are our favorite recreations

More from Merriam-Webster on recreation

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