rec·​re·​a·​tion ˌre-krē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce recreation (audio)
: refreshment of strength and spirits after work
also : a means of refreshment or diversion : hobby

Examples of recreation in a Sentence

The fields next to the school are used for recreation. decided to take a bike tour of the island for recreation and relaxation
Recent Examples on the Web The menu isn’t filled with faithful recreations of the aguachiles and tostadas found in cities like Ensenada or Veracruz. Melissa Clark, New York Times, 18 Sep. 2023 Unfunded projects that could show up on the bond are broken into four focus areas: facilities, parks and recreation projects, public safety and then streets and infrastructure. Haeven Gibbons, Dallas News, 18 Sep. 2023 The health of rivers affects everything in and around them, from aquatic life to humans who rely on the rivers for water, food, transportation and recreation. Li Li (李黎), The Conversation, 14 Sep. 2023 The surrounding state recreation area encompasses 8,200 acres. Andrew J. Campa, Los Angeles Times, 14 Sep. 2023 The lease currently restricts land usage to sports, recreation and entertainment. Sam Fortier, Washington Post, 13 Sep. 2023 In addition, the city has earmarked $1.6 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) monies, as well as $200,000 in recreation construction funds, with the property tax increase covering the balance. John Benson, cleveland, 13 Sep. 2023 The indoor pools that are open in the cooler months are all parts of recreation centers that require a membership fee for everyone over 18. Nicolas Kemper, Curbed, 11 Sep. 2023 Bowen stood out for consulting various student groups about their needs while preparing for the construction of the school's new student union and recreation center, the group said at the time. Grant Lancaster, Arkansas Online, 10 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'recreation.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English recreacioun "act of refreshment, action of amusing," borrowed from Anglo-French & Late Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Late Latin recreātiōn-, recreātiō "spiritual refreshment, amusement, new birth," going back to Latin, "act of restoring," from recreāre "to make new, restore, revive" (from re- re- + creāre "to bring into being, beget, give birth to") + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at create entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of recreation was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near recreation

Cite this Entry

“Recreation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


: refreshment of mind or body after work or worry : diversion
: a way of refreshing mind or body
hiking and gardening are our favorite recreations

More from Merriam-Webster on recreation

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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