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

  • n. A set of directions with a list of ingredients for making or preparing something, especially food.
  • n. A formula for or means to a desired end: a recipe for success.
  • n. A medical prescription.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A formulary or prescription for making some combination, mixture, or preparation of materials; a receipt.
  • n. a prescription for medicine.
  • n. a prescription for medicine.
  • n. a set of directions for preparing food from its ingredients.
  • n. a method or procedure for accomplishing a goal by defined steps; -- implying a high probability of achieving the goal. Also used in a negative sense, .

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Take: a Latin imperative used (commonly abbreviated R. or ℞) at the beginning of physicians' prescriptions, as formerly and in part still written in Latin.
  • n. A formula for the compounding of a remedy, with directions for its use, written by a physician; a medical prescription.
  • n. A prescribed formula in general, but especially one having some relation or resemblance to a medical prescription; a receipt.
  • n. Synonyms Receipt, etc. See reception.

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

  • n. directions for making something


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

Latin, sing. imperative of recipere, to take, receive; see receive.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin recipiō ("receive"). Compare receipt.


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  • "The mortar, an emblem of sophisticated cooking in the Middle Ages because of its use in grinding spices, has remained the preeminent symbol of pharmacists, just as the word 'recipe' in most languages means both instructions for cooks and prescriptions for druggists, a reminder of the conceptual similarity fo the two professions."

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    *Listing ingredients at the foot of a recipe, when you think about it, makes sense, since it assumes that the recipe itself has been read thoroughly first. It was Isabella Beeton who copied Acton's innovation but moved the list to the beginning, giving us, finally, the form of the modern recipe."

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