rec·​re·​a·​tion·​al | \ˌre-krē-ˈā-shnəl, -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

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Other Words from recreational

recreationally adverb

Examples of recreational in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There’s a long list of possible reasons for this, including increasing levels of tourism, recreational fishing, shipping, and pollution. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "Whales are stressed out by climate change, and it shows in their earwax," 16 Nov. 2018 Voters in Utah and Missouri approved the drug for medical use, while Michigan voters passed an amendment that legalized cannabis for recreational purposes. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Three states vote in favor of marijuana," 7 Nov. 2018 The bartender is watching a singing competition on television and says the bar is less a drinking establishment than a pitstop for recreational fishermen heading back to the city after weekends on the water. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 2018 The Great Lakes State is the 10th to do this, now making recreational pot a reality for an entire fifth of the country. Danielle Corcione, Teen Vogue, "Three States Approved Legal Marijuana During Midterm Elections," 7 Nov. 2018 Cannabis was legalized in Nevada for medical use in 2000 and adult (recreational) use in 2016. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "6 Things to Know Before You Even Set Foot in a Marijuana Dispensary," 24 Oct. 2018 Removing that kind of oil could be a primary application for Oleo's Sponge, especially in harbors and near major metropolitan areas, where vehicle runoff after rainstorms and recreational boats vomits oil into the natural habitat. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "New sponge for cleaning harbor oil leaks has a successful real-world test," 16 Aug. 2018 The iCan Bike camp is part of the county executive’s initiative to increase recreational opportunities for citizens with disabilities. The Aegis, "Harford concludes another successful iCan Bike Camp," 13 July 2018 The installation of the launch for kayakers with mobililty disabilities is another project in the city’s efforts to ensure all residents have access to recreational opportunities. Kari Barnett,, "Intracoastal Waterway tour to open Boynton Beach's new kayak launch," 11 July 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.

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First Known Use of recreational

1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for recreational

recreation + -al entry 1

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Statistics for recreational

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for recreational

The first known use of recreational was in 1656

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More Definitions for recreational



English Language Learners Definition of recreational

: done for enjoyment

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

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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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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