rec·​re·​a·​tion·​al | \ ˌre-krē-ˈā-shnəl How to pronounce recreational (audio) , -shə-nᵊl\

Definition of recreational

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of recreation a recreational area recreational activities
2 : of or relating to recreational drugs or their use a recreational drug user Colorado's burgeoning marijuana industry had struggled under its own astonishing success since legal recreational sales began Jan. 1.— David Migoya

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from recreational

recreationally adverb

Examples of recreational in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The prospect of devoting 89 minutes to Larry Nassar, disgraced Olympics doctor and long-term guest of our federal penitentiary system, offers about as much appeal as a recreational gum-scraping. John Anderson, WSJ, "‘At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal’ Review: Who Couldn’t Have Known?," 2 May 2019 Advertising That changed in July 2016, when the state began regulating the medical-marijuana market under the broader recreational market. The Yakima Herald-republic, The Seattle Times, "Uprooting cannabis: Officials stepping up enforcement of ban on recreational marijuana businesses," 13 Apr. 2019 The Council has implemented an interdisciplinary plan that includes: youth engagement, economic development, leadership resources and recreational activity. Teen Vogue, "The Turtle Mountain Youth Council is Helping Chippewa Teens Find Their Voices," 11 Mar. 2019 Wayzata is a roughly 3-square-mile city on the northeast shore of Lake Minnetonka, one of Minnesota’s most popular recreational lakes. Jessica Flint, WSJ, "Minnesota’s Wayzata Offers Hot and Cold Lakefront Luxury," 30 Jan. 2019 Decades later, the Trust helps people aged 11 to 3o through mentoring, education, and recreational activities. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Prince Charles, Prince Harry, and Tom Hardy Hear from Victims of Violent Crime," 12 Dec. 2018 The dam was built in 1966 to create a recreational lake and is owned by the Kentucky Department of Parks. Nancy Daly,, "More precautions taken at Big Bone park due to leaking dam," 28 June 2018 After mining ceases in the mid 2020s, the pit will become a recreational lake, and 35 square kilometers, or 13.5 square miles, will have been replanted with shoots, sprouts, and seeds sourced from the original Hambach stand. National Geographic, "Ancient Forest Home of Squatter Communities Is Doomed by Coal," 13 Apr. 2018 Within the first 100 days of his term, Murphy promised to legalize recreational pot. Danielle Corcione, Teen Vogue, "Marijuana in the 2018 Midterms: A State-by-State Guide," 16 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recreational.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of recreational

1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for recreational

recreation + -al entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about recreational

Statistics for recreational

Last Updated

9 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for recreational

The first known use of recreational was in 1656

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for recreational



English Language Learners Definition of recreational

: done for enjoyment
of a drug : used for pleasure instead of for medical purposes

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on recreational

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with recreational

Spanish Central: Translation of recreational

Nglish: Translation of recreational for Spanish Speakers

Comments on recreational

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


to make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!