rec·​i·​pe | \ ˈre-sə-(ˌ)pē How to pronounce recipe (audio) \

Definition of recipe

2 : a set of instructions for making something from various ingredients
3 : a formula or procedure for doing or attaining something a recipe for success

The History of Receipt and Recipe

These days it may seem odd to speak of "grandma's cookie receipt," but at one time the only meaning of receipt was "recipe." The first recorded use of receipt is a reference to a medicinal preparation in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (c. 1386). Recipe didn't arrive until the 1500s, and it was also first used to describe medicine. Both words began to be applied to cooking only in the 18th century, after which recipe slowly became the preferred word. Receipt acquired its currently more familiar sense of "a written statement saying that money or goods have been received" in the 17th century. Both receipt and recipe are thought to be ultimately derived from Latin recipere ("to receive"), making them probable relatives as well as synonyms.

Examples of recipe in a Sentence

The recipe calls for fresh thyme. I didn't read the recipe carefully. This is one of my grandmother's recipes.
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Recent Examples on the Web This recipe is not only tasty but impressive with its puff pastry lattice crust. Sue Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 26 Nov. 2021 The recipe is from Dinner in French: My Recipes by Way of France (Clarkson Potter; $38 ). Kate Krader, Fortune, 20 Nov. 2021 But The Oregonian was the first to crack the code for the secret recipe. oregonlive, 18 Nov. 2021 Read on for the recipe for Cameron's Diaz's go-to pasta dish. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 17 Nov. 2021 For this recipe, as with all stir-fry dishes, preparation is key. Hetty Mckinnon, Bon Appétit, 9 Nov. 2021 This recipe is from Cheryl Day’s Treasury of Southern Baking. Cheryl Day, Country Living, 4 Nov. 2021 The inspiration for this recipe, a radiant sheet-pan meal that’s done in under 40 minutes, is the Spanish sauce romesco. Washington Post, 14 Oct. 2021 Since her post — which has been viewed 56.1K times — Flamin' Hot Cheetos fans have been flooding TikTok with their reviews, praising Ruth for the tasty recipe. Dave Quinn,, 13 Sep. 2021

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

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for recipe

Latin, take, imperative of recipere to take, receive — more at receive

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Dictionary Entries Near recipe



recipe book

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Statistics for recipe

Last Updated

28 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Recipe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for recipe



English Language Learners Definition of recipe

: a set of instructions for making food
: a way of doing something that will produce a particular result


rec·​i·​pe | \ ˈre-sə-pē How to pronounce recipe (audio) \

Kids Definition of recipe

: a set of instructions for making something (as a food dish) by combining various things


rec·​i·​pe | \ ˈres-ə-(ˌ)pē How to pronounce recipe (audio) \

Medical Definition of recipe

More from Merriam-Webster on recipe

Nglish: Translation of recipe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of recipe for Arabic Speakers


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