Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English receiven, from Old French receivre, from Latin recipere, past participle receptus ‎(to take back, get back, regain, recover, take to oneself, admit, accept, receive, take in, assume, allow, etc.), from re- ‎(back) + capio ‎(to take); see capacious. Compare conceive, deceive, perceive. Displaced native Middle English terms in -fon/-fangen (e.g. afon, anfon, afangen, underfangen, etc. "to receive" from Old English -fōn), native Middle English thiggen ‎(to receive) (from Old English þicgan), and non-native Middle English aquilen, enquilen ‎(to receive) (from Old French aquillir, encueillir).


  • IPA(key): /ɹɪˈsiːv/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːv
  • Hyphenation: re‧ceive


receive ‎(third-person singular simple present receives, present participle receiving, simple past and past participle received)

  1. To take, as something that is offered, given, committed, sent, paid, etc.; to accept; to be given something.
    She received many presents for her birthday.
    • William Shakespeare (c.1564–1616)
      Our hearts receive your warnings.
    • John Locke (1632-1705)
      The idea of solidity we receive by our touch.
    • Bible, 1 Kings viii.64:
      The brazen altar that was before the Lord was too little to receive the burnt offerings.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 19, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      Nothing was too small to receive attention, if a supervising eye could suggest improvements likely to conduce to the common welfare. Mr. Gordon Burnage, for instance, personally visited dust-bins and back premises, accompanied by a sort of village bailiff, going his round like a commanding officer doing billets.
    • 2013 May 25, “No hiding place”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8837, page 74:
      In America alone, people spent $170 billion on “direct marketing”—junk mail of both the physical and electronic varieties—last year. Yet of those who received unsolicited adverts through the post, only 3% bought anything as a result.
  2. To take possession of.
  3. To act as a host for guests; to give admittance to; to permit to enter, as into one's house, presence, company, etc.
    to receive a lodger, visitor, ambassador, messenger, etc.
    • Bible, Acts xxviii.2:
      They kindled a fire, and received us every one.
    • 1893, Walter Besant, The Ivory Gate, chapter III:
      In former days every tavern of repute kept such a room for its own select circle, a club, or society, of habitués, who met every evening, for a pipe and a cheerful glass. [] Strangers might enter the room, but they were made to feel that they were there on sufferance: they were received with distance and suspicion.
  4. To suffer from (an injury).
    I received a bloody nose from the collision.
  5. To allow (a custom, tradition, etc.); to give credence or acceptance to.
    • Bible, Mark vii.4:
      Many other things there be which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots.
  6. (telecommunications) To detect a signal from a transmitter.
  7. (sports) To be in a position to take possession, or hit back the ball.
    1. (tennis, badminton, squash (sport)) To be in a position to hit back a service.
    2. (American football) To be in a position to catch a forward pass.
  8. (transitive, intransitive) To accept into the mind; to understand.

Derived terms[edit]

  • RX (abbreviation)

Related terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


receive ‎(plural receives)

  1. (telecommunications) An operation in which data is received.
    sends and receives

External links[edit]


Most common English words before 1923: pay · red · unto · #551: receive · tried · certainly · big