rec·re·a·tion | \ˌre-krē-ˈā-shən \

Definition of recreation 

: refreshment of strength and spirits after work also : a means of refreshment or diversion : hobby

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Synonyms & Antonyms for recreation


delight, distraction, diversion, entertainment, fun, pleasure


bore, bummer, downer, drag

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Examples of recreation in a Sentence

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

In November, the town council will ask voters to approve an additional $2 million for the future preservation of land for active and passive recreation, and protection of agricultural land through the purchase of development rights. Peter Marteka, Courant Community, "South Windsor Seeking An Additional $2 Million For Open Space Preservation," 12 July 2018 The biggest cost categories would be $153 million for county roads, bridges and sidewalks; $44 million for parks and recreation; and $26.5 million for the sheriff’s office and fire department. David Ibata, ajc, "Forsyth to seek voter OK for $274M SPLOST," 11 July 2018 There's a reason that adult play exists in modern society, says Lynn Barnett, a professor of recreation, sports and tourism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jennifer Wallace,, "Play Is Important For Adults, Too," 9 July 2018 As the Fourth of July is a national holiday, many of the city’s various departments, from public works to parks and recreation, are off. Katie V. Jones, Howard County Times, "All of the fun of the Fourth on July 7," 3 July 2018 Three miles north of Mud Island is another site for public recreation, Tom Lee Park, named for the African American riverboat worker who saved the lives of 32 white passengers in 1925 when the M.E. Norman steamboat capsized. Danielle Jackson, Longreads, "A Reading List for Reconsidering the Fourth of July in 2018," 3 July 2018 Originally located on Ocean Avenue below City College and known as the Junior Museum, it was renamed in 1951 after Josephine Randall, the city’s director of recreation, who suggested relocating it to its present site. Thomas Graham,, "Walking these seven hills of San Francisco a peak experience," 28 June 2018 One of the show’s most charming elements was its ability to take the familiar crime documentary tropes—courtroom footage, digital scene recreations, direct evidence visuals, etc.—and translate them into high school use. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "How American Vandal expertly crafted a doc (that just happened to be fiction)," 23 June 2018 For instance, there aren’t enough opportunities for recreation, for jobs. Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press, "Voting, civic engagement summit to help metro Detroit youths realize their power," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recreation.' 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 recreation

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for recreation

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

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Phrases Related to recreation

recreation ground

Statistics for recreation

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for recreation

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

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More Definitions for recreation



English Language Learners Definition of recreation

: something people do to relax or have fun : activities done for enjoyment


rec·re·a·tion | \ˌrek-rē-ˈā-shən \

Kids Definition of recreation

: something done for fun and relaxation We bike for recreation.

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Comments on recreation

What made you want to look up recreation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


evasion of direct action or statement

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