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

Marijuana is legal for recreational use in nine states and Washington, D.C., and for medical use in 31 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Fox News, "Marijuana detected in mother's breastmilk days after pot use, study finds," 27 Aug. 2018 Marijuana is legal for recreational use in nine states and the District, and 31 states allow medical marijuana in varying degrees. Lornet Turnbull, Washington Post, "When marijuana is legal in Canada, Americans are expected to flock. But the border, and U.S. law, stands in the way.," 11 July 2018 For example, in 2016, opponents of the effort to legalize marijuana for recreational painted a dystopian picture of what Massachusetts would look like with legal weed. Joshua Miller,, "The question order has been set for the fall ballot," 9 July 2018 On Tuesday, Canada legalized marijuana, becoming the world’s second nation (and the first in the G7) to authorize the sale and use of recreational weed. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "These 6 Cannabis Stocks Shot Up After Canada Legalized Marijuana," 20 June 2018 And now that pot is legal for recreational use in nine states (with more on the horizon), some celebrities are laughing all the way to the bank. CBS News, "Seeing green: Celebrities selling marijuana," 27 May 2018 Colorado was among the first of nine states — Alaska, California, Oregon, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, Vermont and Washington, along with Washington D.C.— to legalize recreational weed. USA TODAY, "Snap a selfie with a 24-foot bong! Entrepreneurs dream up pot-tourism destinations," 20 Apr. 2018 Marijuana is now legal for recreational use in nine states. Daniela Sternitzky-di Napoli, Houston Chronicle, "Texas police offer 'resort' stay for people who bring in their marijuana," 20 Apr. 2018 The Stanley Brothers The Jergers ordered their CBD online from the Stanley Brothers, a company run by a group of brothers who grow cannabis in greenhouses in the mountains of Colorado, where recreational weed is legal. NBC News, "'Helpless': The only treatment for their baby's epileptic seizures was illegal," 20 Apr. 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

Share recreational

Statistics for recreational

Last Updated

14 Mar 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).


a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!