v. re·ceived, re·ceiv·ing, re·ceives
a. To take or acquire (something given or offered); get or be given: receive a present.
b. To be the person who gets (something sent or transmitted): receive an email.
c. Sports To catch or get possession of (a pass or a kicked ball, for example).
d. To have (a title, for example) bestowed on oneself.
a. To hear or see (information, for example): receive bad news.
b. To perceive or acquire mentally: receive a bad impression.
c. To regard with approval or disapproval: ideas that were received well.
d. To listen to and acknowledge formally and authoritatively: The judge received their oath of allegiance.
3. To take in and convert (radio waves, for example) into an electrical signal or into an audio or visual output.
a. To experience or be subjected to; meet with: receive sympathetic treatment.
b. To have inflicted or imposed on oneself: receive a penalty.
a. To bear the weight or force of; support: The beams receive the full weight of the walls and roof.
b. To take or intercept the impact of (a blow, for example).
c. To be exposed to or withstand: The hillside cottage receives strong winds.
a. To take in, hold, or contain: a tank that receives rainwater.
b. To admit or accept: receive new members.
c. To greet, welcome, or be visited by: receive guests.
1. To acquire or get something; be a recipient.
2. To admit or welcome guests or visitors: The couple are not receiving this winter.
3. To partake of the Eucharist.
4. To convert incoming electromagnetic signals into sound, light, or electrical signals.
5. Sports To receive a pass or a kicked ball, for example.
[Middle English receiven, from Old North French receivre, from Latin recipere : re-, re- + capere, to take; see kap- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.