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Alternative forms[edit]

  • (imperative in medical contexts): r., , Rx


From re- +‎ capiō (take, seize), with characteristic vowel reduction of unstressed /a/ in Old Latin (< *récapiō).



recipiō (present infinitive recipere, perfect active recēpī, supine receptum); third conjugation iō-variant

  1. (transitive) to take back, (i.e., regain possession of something)
  2. (transitive, of a city) to recapture
    • 27 BCE – 25 BCE, Titus Livius, Ab Urbe Condita 26.1:
      Ea tum cura maxime intentos habebat Romanos, non ab ira tantum, quae in nullam unquam ciuitatem iustior fuit, quam quod urbs tam nobilis ac potens, sicut defectione sua traxerat aliquot populos, ita recepta inclinatura rursus animos uidebatur ad ueteris imperii respectum.
      This concern in particular troubled the mindful Romans at the time, not so much because of anger, which has never been more justified against any other city, rather because a city so noble and powerful, in the same way that it had attracted the support of a number of communities by its revolt, was thought would again turn attention back towards respect for the previous government once recaptured.
  3. (transitive) to receive, accept, admit
    accipere beneficium ab aliquoto receive favor from someone
    • 1st c. BC, Marcus Tullius Cicero, Epistulae ad Atticum :
      Numestium ex litteris tuis studiose scriptis libenter in amicitiam recepi.
      I have gladly received Numestius into friendship on account of your eagerly written letters.
    • Caesar, de Bello Gallico VII, 20:
      quem [...] ne qua civitas suis finibus recipiat
      that no state should admit him within its territories
    • Caesar, de Bello Gallico VII, 26:
      Timor misericordiam non recipit
      The fear does not admit to the mercy
  4. (transitive) to take upon oneself, undertake, accept (esp. when done as a duty or under an obligation. Cf. suscipiō)
  5. (transitive) to retreat, withdraw
    Eorum impetum Galli sustinere non potuerunt atque in fugam coniecti multis amissis se ad agmen receperuntThe Gauls could not sustain their attack but were put to flight, and having lost a great number of men, retreated to their main body (Caesar, de Bello Gallico, VII, 13)
    Gladiis destrictis portas occupaverunt suosque omnes incolumes receperunthaving drawn the swords, they occupied the gates and withdrew all their men safe (Caesar, de Bello Gallico, VII, 12)
  6. (transitive) to endure, tolerate, allow
  7. (transitive) to rescue, secure, save


   Conjugation of recipiō (third conjugation -variant)
indicative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present recipiō recipis recipit recipimus recipitis recipiunt
imperfect recipiēbam recipiēbās recipiēbat recipiēbāmus recipiēbātis recipiēbant
future recipiam recipiēs recipiet recipiēmus recipiētis recipient
perfect recēpī recēpistī recēpit recēpimus recēpistis recēpērunt,
pluperfect recēperam recēperās recēperat recēperāmus recēperātis recēperant
future perfect recēperō recēperis recēperit recēperimus recēperitis recēperint
sigmatic future1 recepsō recepsis recepsit recepsimus recepsitis recepsint
passive present recipior reciperis,
recipitur recipimur recipiminī recipiuntur
imperfect recipiēbar recipiēbāris,
recipiēbātur recipiēbāmur recipiēbāminī recipiēbantur
future recipiar recipiēris,
recipiētur recipiēmur recipiēminī recipientur
perfect receptus + present active indicative of sum
pluperfect receptus + imperfect active indicative of sum
future perfect receptus + future active indicative of sum
subjunctive singular plural
first second third first second third
active present recipiam recipiās recipiat recipiāmus recipiātis recipiant
imperfect reciperem reciperēs reciperet reciperēmus reciperētis reciperent
perfect recēperim recēperīs recēperit recēperīmus recēperītis recēperint
pluperfect recēpissem recēpissēs recēpisset recēpissēmus recēpissētis recēpissent
sigmatic aorist1 recepsim recepsīs recepsīt recepsīmus recepsītis recepsint
passive present recipiar recipiāris,
recipiātur recipiāmur recipiāminī recipiantur
imperfect reciperer reciperēris,
reciperētur reciperēmur reciperēminī reciperentur
perfect receptus + present active subjunctive of sum
pluperfect receptus + imperfect active subjunctive of sum
imperative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present recipe recipite
future recipitō recipitō recipitōte recipiuntō
passive present recipere recipiminī
future recipitor recipitor recipiuntor
non-finite forms active passive
present perfect future present perfect future
infinitives recipere recēpisse receptūrum esse recipī receptum esse receptum īrī
participles recipiēns receptūrus receptus recipiendus,
verbal nouns gerund supine
genitive dative accusative ablative accusative ablative
recipiendī recipiendō recipiendum recipiendō receptum receptū

1At least one use of the archaic "sigmatic future" and "sigmatic aorist" tenses is attested, which are used by Old Latin writers; most notably Plautus and Terence. The sigmatic future is generally ascribed a future or future perfect meaning, while the sigmatic aorist expresses a possible desire ("might want to").



Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]



Further reading[edit]

  • recipio”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • recipio”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • recipio in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • to gain some one's friendship; to become intimate with: in amicitiam alicuius recipi
    • to take courage again: animum recipere (Liv. 2. 50)
    • to take a person under one's protection: in fidem recipere aliquem (B. G. 2. 15. 1)
    • to recover one's reason, be reasonable again: ad bonam frugem se recipere
    • to welcome to one's house (opp. to shut one's door against some one): tecto, (in) domum suam aliquem recipere (opp. prohibere aliquem tecto, domo)
    • to enroll as a citizen, burgess: in civitatem recipere, ascribere, asciscere aliquem
    • to retake a town: oppidum recipere
    • to deal mercifully with some one: in fidem recipere aliquem (Fam. 13. 16)
    • to withdraw one's forces: se recipere (B. G. 7. 20)
    • to save oneself by flight: se fuga recipere (B. G. 1. 11)
    • (ambiguous) it is traditional usage: more, usu receptum est
    • (ambiguous) the cavalry covers the retreat: equitatus tutum receptum dat