Meaning of RECEIVE in English

rə̇ˈsēv, rēˈ- verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English receiven, from Old North French receivre, from Latin recipere to take back, take, accept, receive, from re- + -cipere (from capere to take) — more at heave

transitive verb



(1) : to take possession or delivery of

receive a gift

receive a letter

(2) : to knowingly accept (stolen goods)

suspected of receiving the stolen jewels

b. : to give attention to : listen to

receive his confession

refused to receive advice from his friends


a. : to take in : act as a receptacle or container for

a great interior lake received this young giant among rivers — Tom Marvel

b. : to take in through the mind or senses

any young, active mind that was ready to receive ideas — M.R.Cohen

at an age when he was most ready to receive new impressions

c. : contain , hold

too small to receive the burnt offering — 1 Kings 8:64 (Revised Standard Version)


a. : to give accommodation, protection, or refuge to : harbor

go back to a husband who was still ready to receive her — Atlantic

b. of a female mammal : accept 8


a. : to admit or accept in some character or capacity

received him as a colleague

would not receive her as his son's wife

b. : to admit to a place, faith, group, or condition

they were received both at the tribal fire and at the trading post — American Guide Series: Minnesota

having shortly before abandoned his skepticism and been received into the Catholic faith — H.W.H.Knott


a. : to welcome on arrival : greet

the small lady who received them at his house — William Black

b. : to give a formal and official welcome to

shall receive ambassadors and other public ministers — U.S. Constitution

c. : to greet or react to in a specified manner

began his first concert tour, on which he was well received — Current Biography

the academic world received it with hostility — Max Lerner


a. : to acquiesce in or submit to : endure willingly

couldn't unquestioningly receive acceptance by these white patients — F.A.Perry

b. : to support the weight or pressure of : bear

receives the weight of the world on his shoulders

c. : to take (a mark or impression) from the weight or pressure of something

the ground was too hard to receive a footprint

his tenderer cheek receives her soft hand's print — Shakespeare

d. : to undergo the impact of or interrupt the course of : catch , intercept

get their full share of light, receiving the cooler level rays of the rising and setting sun — Andrew Young

available to receive the discharge of such emotions — R.M.Weaver


a. : to come into possession of : acquire

received his early education in the public schools

received his medical training abroad

b. : to meet with : experience

a book that has never received the attention it deserves

has received love and understanding from those around him

c. : to be exposed or subjected to : suffer

received the royal displeasure on one occasion — Harvey Graham

d. : to be hurt or damaged by (a specified blow or injury)

received a mortal wound

received a broken nose

e. : to be placed under the burden, charge, or constraint of : be made subject to

received a heavy sentence from the judge

received written orders from the commanding general

received a subpoena


a. : to partake of (the eucharistic sacrament)

b. : to take in at the mouth

for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air — Shakespeare

receive nourishment


a. : to accept as true or valid : recognize as authoritative : believe

attacked received theological and philosophical opinion on the nature of the universe — British Book News

the material theory of heat, the idea of caloric, which was generally received until the 1850's — S.F.Mason

b. : to admit as evidence

no objection to the ice pick being received in evidence — Erle Stanley Gardner

intransitive verb

1. : to be a recipient

more blessed to give than to receive — Acts 20:35 (Authorized Version)

2. : to take the eucharistic sacrament : take Communion

3. : to be at home to visitors

she receives on Tuesdays

4. : to catch pitched balls in a baseball game

worked hard on his receiving — Lou Boudreau

5. : to convert incoming radio waves into perceptible signals


accept , admit , take : although receive can sometimes suggest a positive welcoming or recognition

receive the group with open arms

the work has been received with enthusiasm — Current Biography

it usually implies that something comes or is allowed to come into one's presence, possession, group, consciousness, or substance while one is passive

receive military instruction

receive a gift

be received into the church

accept adds to this the notion of positive acquiescence or consent even though tacit

accept a gift

accept an appointment

accept an apology

accept a new member into a club

admit suggests permission given or sufferance granted to come or enter

admit an ambassador into one's presence

admit new members into a club

a door wide enough to admit a small car

take carries the notion of accepting or, more commonly, of making no positive protest against receiving, often of almost welcoming on principle, something offered, conferred, or inflicted

take a plate when it is passed to you

take advice in good spirit

take a good deal of punishment before protesting

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.