re·​cep·​tion | \ ri-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce reception (audio) \

Definition of reception

1 : the act or action or an instance of receiving: such as
a : receipt the reception and distribution of funds
b : admission reception into the church
c : response, reaction the play met with a mixed reception
d : the receiving of a radio or television broadcast
e : the catching of a forward pass by a receiver
2 : a social gathering often for the purpose of extending a formal welcome

Keep scrolling for more

Did you know?

Reception is the noun form of receive. So at a formal reception, guests are received or welcomed or "taken in". A bad TV reception means the signal isn't being received well. When a new novel receives good reviews, we say it has met with a good critical reception. If it gets a poor reception, on the other hand, that's the same as saying that it wasn't well-received.

Examples of reception in a Sentence

The school held a reception for the new students and their families. He decided to run for a seat on the school committee only a year after his reception into the community. Her job is to deal with the reception of donations.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Two blocks from Chase turned Mixon’s reception into a touchdown. Charlie Goldsmith, USA TODAY, 18 Oct. 2021 The Chula Vista Art Guild hosts a reception and silent auction from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Bonita Museum and Cultural Center, 4355 Bonita Road, Bonita. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Oct. 2021 The government ordered cellphone reception suspended across four states, cutting off tens of millions of residents, as part of a military offensive that some officials say is succeeding. Drew Hinshaw, WSJ, 17 Oct. 2021 Both hung on as hopeful businesses thanks to vertical integration and partnerships, until reception and content got better. Paula Allen, San Antonio Express-News, 16 Oct. 2021 Jakiryn Hawkins had two rushing touchdowns and Jakin Hawkins added a TD run and TD reception to lead Deltona Trinity Christian (2-5) to a 41-21 win over Trinity Prep (1-6). Buddy Collings,, 16 Oct. 2021 Trea Shropshire led the receiving effort with two catches for 45 yards and Hayden Pittman extended his streak of consecutive outings with a reception to 32 games with a 10-yard catch in the third quarter. Evan Dudley, al, 16 Oct. 2021 Nigel Liefveld, who handles evacuee reception at the facility, said. Lawrence Andrea, The Indianapolis Star, 15 Oct. 2021 Casey held a reception for community leaders Thursday afternoon and a tour of the grounds that once had a popular restaurant, golf course, pool and tennis courts. Don Stacom,, 15 Oct. 2021

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for reception

Middle English recepcion, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French reception, from Latin reception-, receptio, from recipere

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About reception

Time Traveler for reception

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near reception



reception area

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for reception

Last Updated

19 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reception.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for reception



English Language Learners Definition of reception

: the kind of welcome that someone or something is given
: a social gathering to celebrate something or to welcome someone
: the act or process of receiving, welcoming, or accepting something or someone


re·​cep·​tion | \ ri-ˈsep-shən How to pronounce reception (audio) \

Kids Definition of reception

1 : the act or manner of welcoming We got a warm reception from our new neighbors.
2 : a social gathering to celebrate something or welcome someone a wedding reception
3 : the ability to receive a radio or television broadcast
4 : the act of catching a pass thrown toward the opponent's goal

More from Merriam-Webster on reception

Nglish: Translation of reception for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of reception for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something 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!