from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To take or acquire (something given, offered, or transmitted); get.
  • transitive v. To hear or see (information, for example): receive bad news; received a good report of the group's activities.
  • transitive v. To have (a title, for example) bestowed on oneself.
  • transitive v. To meet with; experience: receive sympathetic treatment.
  • transitive v. To have inflicted or imposed on oneself: receive a penalty.
  • transitive v. To bear the weight or force of; support: The beams receive the full weight of the walls and roof.
  • transitive v. To take or intercept the impact of (a blow, for example).
  • transitive v. To take in, hold, or contain: a tank that receives rainwater.
  • transitive v. To admit: receive new members.
  • transitive v. To greet or welcome: receive guests.
  • transitive v. To perceive or acquire mentally: receive a bad impression.
  • transitive v. To regard with approval or disapproval: essays that were received well.
  • transitive v. To listen to and acknowledge formally and authoritatively: The judge received their oath of allegiance.
  • intransitive v. To acquire or get something; be a recipient.
  • intransitive v. To admit or welcome guests or visitors: The couple are not receiving this winter.
  • intransitive v. To partake of the Eucharist.
  • intransitive v. Electronics To convert incoming electromagnetic waves into visible or audible signals.
  • intransitive v. Football To catch or take possession of a kicked ball.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to get, to be given something while the other party is the active partner (opposite: to obtain).
  • v. to take possession of
  • v. To act as a host for guests.
  • v. To suffer from (an injury)
  • v. To detect a signal from a transmitter.
  • v. To be in a position to take possition, or hit back the ball.
  • v. To accept into the mind; to understand.
  • n. An operation in which data is received.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To receive visitors; to be at home to receive calls.
  • intransitive v. To return, or bat back, the ball when served.
  • transitive v. To take, as something that is offered, given, committed, sent, paid, or the like; to accept
  • transitive v. Hence: To gain the knowledge of; to take into the mind by assent to; to give admission to; to accept, as an opinion, notion, etc.; to embrace.
  • transitive v. To allow, as a custom, tradition, or the like; to give credence or acceptance to.
  • transitive v. To give admittance to; to permit to enter, as into one's house, presence, company, and the like
  • transitive v. To admit; to take in; to hold; to contain; to have capacity for; to be able to take in.
  • transitive v. To be affected by something; to suffer; to be subjected to
  • transitive v. To take from a thief, as goods known to be stolen.
  • transitive v. To bat back (the ball) when served.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To take from a source or agency of transmission; get by transfer: as, to receive money or a letter; to receive gifts.
  • To take or get from a primary source: as, to receive favors or a good education; to receive an impression, a wound, or a shock.
  • To take notice of on coming or appearing; greet the advent of; salute or treat upon approach: as, to receive an actor with applause; to receive news joyfully.
  • To take or consider favorably; admit as credible, worthy, acceptable, etc.; give admission or recognition to: as, to receive a person into one's friendship; a received authority.
  • To admit for intercourse or entertainment; grant audience or welcome to; give a friendly reception to: as, to receive an ambassador or guests.
  • To take in or on; give entrance to; hold; contain; have capacity for: as, a box to receive contributions.
  • To perceive; comprehend; take into the mind.
  • In law: To take by transfer in a criminal manner; accept the custody or possession of from a known thief: as, to receive stolen goods.
  • To admit as pertinent; take into consideration; permit the reception of: as, the court refused to receive the evidence, and ordered it to be stricken out.
  • Synonyms and Receive, Take, Accept. These words are in the order of strength in regard to the willingness with which the thing in question is received, etc., but none of them is warm. One may receive a letter, a challenge to a duel, a remittance, detriment, or a wound: the word thus may be wholly neuter. One may take cold, but, more often, take that which he might refuse, as a present, a bribe, offense, a pinch of snuff, or an orange. One may accept one's fate, but even then the word means a mental consent, a movement of mind; more often it means to receive with some willingness, as to accept a proposition, an invitation, or an offer. An offer, etc., may be received and not accepted.
  • To be a receiver or recipient; come into custody or possession of something by transfer.
  • To give, or take part in holding, a reception; greet and entertain visitors, especially at certain fixed times.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. accept as true or valid
  • v. receive as a retribution or punishment
  • v. partake of the Holy Eucharist sacrament
  • v. express willingness to have in one's home or environs
  • v. convert into sounds or pictures
  • v. receive a specified treatment (abstract)
  • v. go through (mental or physical states or experiences)
  • v. have or give a reception
  • v. get something; come into possession of
  • v. regard favorably or with disapproval
  • v. register (perceptual input)
  • v. bid welcome to; greet upon arrival
  • v. experience as a reaction


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English receiven, from Old North French receivre, from Latin recipere : re-, re- + capere, to take; see kap- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English receiven, from Old French recever, 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. Replaced native Middle English terms in -fon/-fangen (eg. 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).



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