Meaning of RECEIVE in English

re ‧ ceive S1 W1 /rɪˈsiːv/ BrE AmE verb [transitive]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ receipt , receipts, ↑ receiver , ↑ reception , ↑ receivership , ↑ receiving , ↑ receptionist , ↑ receptor ; adjective : ↑ receptive ≠ UNRECEPTIVE , ↑ received ; verb : ↑ receive ]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: Old North French ; Origin: receivre , from Latin recipere , from capere 'to take' ]

1 . BE GIVEN SOMETHING to be given something SYN get :

All the children will receive a small gift.

receive something from somebody

She received an honorary degree from Harvard.

receive attention/affection/support

She received no support from her parents.

receive payment/money/a pension etc

They will be entitled to receive unemployment benefit.

receive a prize/award/gift etc

He went up to receive his award from the mayor.

receive education/training

16 to 18-year-olds receiving full-time education

Lee received 324 votes (=324 people voted for him) .


Receive is a rather formal word, which is used especially in written English. In everyday English, people usually use get .

What did you get for your birthday?

She got a degree from York University.

2 . BE SENT SOMETHING formal to get a letter, message, or telephone call, or something which someone has sent you

receive something from somebody

He received a letter from his insurance company.

If you would like to receive further information, return the attached form.

We have received numerous complaints about the noise.

3 . TREATMENT formal if you receive a particular type of medical treatment, it is done to you:

He received hospital treatment for a cut over his eye.

4 . REACTION TO SOMETHING [usually passive] to react in a particular way to a suggestion, idea, performance etc ⇨ reception :

The film was well received by critics (=they said it was good) .

He received the news in silence.

5 . be on/at the receiving end (of something) to be the person who is affected by someone else’s actions, usually in an unpleasant way:

She found herself on the receiving end of racist abuse.

6 . receive an injury/blow formal to be injured or hit

7 . PEOPLE formal to officially accept someone as a guest or member of a group

receive guests/visitors

She isn’t well enough to receive visitors yet.

receive somebody into something

She was later received into the Church.


a) if a radio or television receives radio waves or other signals, it makes them become sounds or pictures

b) to be able to hear a radio message that someone is sending:

Receiving you loud and clear!'

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.