Definition of reception in English:



  • 1mass noun The action or process of receiving something sent, given, or inflicted.

    ‘sensation is not the passive reception of stimuli’
    • ‘The Church continues to insist that explicit faith, reception of the sacraments, and obedience to the Church are the ordinary means to salvation.’
    • ‘Peter Riddell is the doyen of British political commentators, and if something becomes received wisdom, it's often he who initiated its reception as such.’
    • ‘Other possibilities which are urged are the reception of communion after divorce and remarriage, and women priests.’
    • ‘Seeing a painting is not a matter of passive reception but requires a synthetic act in which we unite and bring together many different aspects.’
    • ‘On the other hand, through acts of charity, prayer and reception of the sacraments we can increase our share of grace.’
    receipt, receiving, getting, acceptance
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1count noun The way in which a person or group of people reacts to someone or something.
      ‘the election budget got a stony reception in the City’
      • ‘Moreover, his attempts to construct theories of good design met with a lukewarm reception.’
      • ‘Throughout May Churchill continued to get a stony reception from the Conservative benches.’
      • ‘But he also concedes that because of its themes, and their comedic treatment, the film could have a rocky reception.’
      • ‘The double Academy Award recipient was given a warm reception when he visited the site of St Olave's Hospital in Rotherhithe, London, where he was born 70 years ago.’
      • ‘While they have invariably been given warm and enthusiastic receptions, John O'Conor seems to occupy an extra special place in the affections of Sligo's classical music fans.’
      • ‘He is expected to receive a less than rapturous reception despite massive investment in the health service promised in last week's Budget.’
      • ‘But his comments were given a lukewarm reception by his fellow priests.’
      • ‘However, his arrival on Capitol Hill is likely to elicit a lukewarm reception.’
      • ‘She entered the arena to a frosty welcome - a mixture of boos and lukewarm applause - while Davenport was given a rousing reception.’
      • ‘The album has received a generally warm reception from critics.’
      • ‘But the referendum received a lukewarm reception from Labour leaders in the town, amid fears it could lead to a significant loss of power for the party.’
      • ‘The latest proposals for the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy were given a hostile reception by the Irish farm lobby yesterday.’
      • ‘It has since sold more than 50,000 copies in the UK and received a rapturous critical reception in the USA.’
      • ‘Plans for the Commonhead flyover and Blunsdon bypass were given a lukewarm reception when they were unveiled yesterday.’
      • ‘Overall it received a pretty mixed reception at its European launch, which is a mixed blessing: no harsh criticism but then no whoops of joy.’
      • ‘It's back to the drawing board for a road project following a hostile reception at a public meeting.’
      • ‘Patrick Lynch, whose maternal grandparents came from Kiltimagh, was the Grand Marshal and he got a great reception as he led the parade through the town.’
      • ‘This proposal has attracted widespread support from consumer groups but has received a fairly cool reception from certain sectors of the food industry.’
      • ‘Alan Clements also gave the idea a positive reception.’
      • ‘Similarly, refugee centres met with a hostile reception initially but we now have these facilities in almost every county in Ireland.’
      • ‘Unfortunately the people of Tologa Bay, on New Zealand's North Island, thought he had come to close the school and gave him a hostile reception until the truth emerged.’
      • ‘Motorists in York gave Government plans to introduce ‘pay as you drive’ charges a lukewarm reception.’
      • ‘Such criticisms initially got a hostile reception from parliamentary and government officials, but attitudes have slowly changed.’
      • ‘That he will once again be subjected to a hostile reception in Leith proves that this is not the case.’
      • ‘The one thing that they can be assured of is a hostile reception from the Afrikaner support base that still exists in Bloemfontein.’
      response, reaction, treatment
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  • 2A formal social occasion held to welcome someone or to celebrate an event.

    ‘a wedding reception’
    • ‘Not surprisingly, this imposing property is a popular choice for wedding receptions and regularly used for corporate entertaining, conferences and seminars.’
    • ‘The night began with a formal champagne reception, before the guests were taken to the banqueting hall for a five-course meal.’
    • ‘Functions such as wedding receptions and birthday parties were in danger of being cancelled all over the city.’
    • ‘The Gala Ball will be proceeded by a champagne reception and dinner at 8pm, followed by the auction.’
    • ‘He made the comments at a dinner reception in Beijing to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the signing of a peace treaty between Japan and China.’
    • ‘Entertainment will include a champagne reception, five-course dinner, a comedian, live band, disco and charity auction.’
    • ‘A grand opening is expected to take place, though the hall is already available for tours and visits, wedding ceremonies, receptions and conferences.’
    • ‘He estimated the alteration to the building would cost about £200,000 and said the extension would make the room a suitable venue for wedding receptions and parties, because space is currently limited.’
    • ‘But of course, I'd met them both the night before, at the Conference's welcoming reception.’
    • ‘In my dream, I'm at a wedding reception or similar type of celebratory event.’
    • ‘The event will include a champagne reception, a four-course dinner, two cabaret acts and two live bands.’
    • ‘This is a room of real civic dignity that has to be lived up to - a room for exhibitions, concerts, lectures or formal receptions.’
    • ‘It is available for hire for wedding receptions and other events.’
    • ‘The evening commenced with a champagne reception and exhibition.’
    • ‘Often lonely during his winters in Massachusetts, he also greatly enjoyed the social round of lunches, dinners, receptions, speeches, and other engagements in England where he continued to be very popular.’
    • ‘It comes amid growing anger about the year-round use of fireworks which now light up the sky to mark the New Year, wedding receptions, birthday celebrations and during religious, sporting and other festivals.’
    • ‘This elegant event features a reception, dinner, and dancing, and it is sure to be a night you will never forget.’
    • ‘It is hoped that colleges and adult education groups will use the facilities, and that the abbey will be used for wedding receptions and art exhibitions.’
    • ‘Hundreds of guests were attending that reception.’
    • ‘In Trinidad and Tobago, most wedding receptions are community events, marked by large quantities of food and rum.’
    • ‘This office now caters for more than 500 events annually in Dublin Castle and includes major conferences, meetings, receptions, dinners and promotional events.’
    • ‘The next several weeks were a whirlwind of press conferences, interviews and champagne receptions, culminating in a trip to Stockholm for the prize ceremony in December.’
    • ‘They also make for an attractive setting for special events such as wedding receptions.’
    party, formal party, function, social occasion, social event, entertainment, soirée, gathering, get-together, celebration
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 The formal or ceremonious welcoming of a guest.
      ‘his reception by the Prime Minister’
      • ‘Nic, when that team goes in on Monday, is there going to be some sort of formal reception to meet them, or it is going to be an awkward moment?’
      • ‘A more formal arrival reception took place Friday morning at Rodney Bay Marina.’
      • ‘Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the US continues to make international headlines with an unprecedented reception by President George Bush at the airport, a historic White House visit and the turning of Washington baseball stadium into a church for a day.’
      • ‘Seldom have we seen a crowd as large at that which had gathered at Grattan Square, the focal point of the official reception and welcome.’
      • ‘A big welcoming reception was being planned yesterday for the new champion.’
      • ‘Although no formal reception was organised for the players, they were heartily welcomed by cheering bystanders in the arrivals hall.’
      greeting, welcome, welcoming, entertaining
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2mass noun The action of admitting someone to a place, group, or institution or the process of being admitted.
      ‘their reception into the Church’
      • ‘The priest shall be known as a Postulant until his reception into the Fraternity.’
      • ‘On reception into prison, the man gave an address in Leicester, where he said he had been living with an unnamed friend.’
      • ‘For a long time he has been a regular worshipper at Mass with his family and in recent months he has been following a programme of formation to prepare for his reception into full communion.’
  • 3mass noun The process of receiving broadcast signals.

    ‘a microchip that will allow parents to block reception of violent programmes’
    • ‘December 12, 2001 marks the centenary of the first broadcast and reception of a radio signal across a distance.’
    • ‘What causes interference in reception in car radios?’
    • ‘Several digital receivers capable of HD Radio reception are available to consumers.’
    • ‘The reflection of radio waves means that AM radio reception is possible at great distances from the transmitter.’
    • ‘If you drive through these landscapes, getting radio reception can sometimes be iffy at best, especially in the rural West.’
    • ‘These plasma storms are also responsible for interfering with power grids, TV reception, satellites and so on.’
    • ‘If anything goes wrong out here, there is no cell-phone coverage, and many areas are blind to radio reception altogether.’
    • ‘Some elements of the service, including radio reception and breakfast television, are free.’
    • ‘They claimed aerials could interfere with TV and radio reception and ruin the appearance of the area.’
    • ‘Radio reception turned out to have unique problems.’
    • ‘The hill is now also being used to transmit signals for mobile phones and air traffic as well as signals for local radio and satellite television reception.’
    1. 3.1 The quality of broadcast signals received.
      ‘I had to put up with poor radio reception’
      • ‘This means clearer phone conversations or TV reception.’
      • ‘Analog is more expensive, has slightly better sound quality when reception is good, and is more widespread because it's been around longer.’
      • ‘However, radio reception on MW and LW bands was simply awful, though this is probably a matter of adjustment.’
      • ‘However, digital radio technology is still rather hit and miss, and some small sets struggle to deliver decent sound quality because of poor reception, so try to listen before buying.’
      • ‘Radio reception, while good on FM band, was not great on MW and LW bands, where interference was heard from the windscreen wipers.’
      • ‘Higher frequencies were developed which improved reception.’
      • ‘Cable is a big reason why broadcasters want better digital reception.’
      • ‘Digital radio broadcasting offers the potential for vast improvements in signal quality and reception.’
      • ‘The radio gave good reception on FM but very poor reception on AM - a pity as medium wave stations are becoming increasingly popular with sports fans.’
      • ‘Unlike a car radio, which can be moved to another area for better reception, the signal to a home or business is fixed.’
      • ‘The BBC is responding to listeners' demand for better radio reception by expanding its medium wave transmissions to India.’
      • ‘The purpose of the trials is to test delivery and reception of high definition broadcasts on the major television platforms.’
      • ‘The instruments are clear and easily read and although the radio gives fine reception, its buttons are too small and fiddly.’
      • ‘Radio reception is good and sound quality in the cabin is excellent, thanks to the suppression of external noise sources.’
      • ‘The radio gave very good reception, even in remote corners of the country.’
      • ‘Most automakers offer an audio system that plays CDs and cassettes in addition to providing quality AM and FM reception.’
      • ‘In addition, the radio had no long wave band and medium wave reception was poor.’
      • ‘The other controls work well, though lovers of British premiership football will hate the poor reception on MW radio stations such as BBC Five Live.’
      • ‘If you're looking for a hypothesis, it may be interesting to document how different antenna lengths impact radio reception.’
      • ‘Select models now feature its dual antennae design for improved signal reception and transmission on wireless networks.’
      • ‘Broadcasting by satellite was RTE's golden opportunity to ensure that every household would receive top quality reception.’
  • 4British The area in a hotel or organization where guests and visitors are greeted and dealt with.

    ‘wait for me downstairs in reception’
    as modifier ‘the reception desk’
    • ‘Pre-lunch drinks will be served in the reception area of the hotel, where people will have the opportunity to meet up.’
    • ‘Like the other regulars here, David spends most of the day sitting in reception passing around cigarettes or waiting for one of the outings the hostel organises.’
    • ‘Original art goes everywhere in the hotel, from the reception desk to the guest rooms.’
    • ‘But even if there is no bad news awaiting you at the hotel reception desk, that feeling lasts only hours, a day or two at the most.’
    • ‘We were greeted in the reception area by a bearded man who scanned us disapprovingly.’
    • ‘I'd been recommended the hotel by friends who raved about the friendly service, and were particularly impressed to be addressed by their names every time they passed reception.’
    • ‘Floor plans and gallery guides are available from reception.’
    • ‘At 6.15 am he staggered bound and gagged into the reception of the hotel, smashing the fire alarm as he entered, which prompted the evacuation of the hotel guests.’
    • ‘It is a trauma hospital complete with the sights and sounds of a reception area dealing with all manner of emergencies.’
    • ‘Usually, someone will greet you at a reception desk and show you where to go.’
    • ‘As the reception area is what visitors will first see, Fogarty felt it was vital that this be welcoming and have a contemporary feel.’
    • ‘The larger areas, the reception, pub, and dining room, have been repositioned around a central atrium, as have the smaller offices.’
    • ‘A large pink panther, a yellow and green felt parrot hanging from the ceiling and a blue-and-white teddy greet visitors at the reception desk.’
    • ‘You then come face to face with a wall of glass, behind which lurks the hotel reception desk, quite unlike any other you will have seen.’
    • ‘Through the main doors to the left is the reception and café area and to the right is a large window overlooking the pool and a door through to the poolside spectator area.’
    • ‘Upon entering the building, the circular theme is immediately apparent: a vast circular reception desk dominates the reception area.’
    • ‘That harks back to Victorian days when most guests arrived by train and as they entered the hotel, the reception was the first place they saw.’
    • ‘This means customers will be asked to leave their car keys at reception when they check in and their car will be parked for them.’
    • ‘Both the reception and the restaurant areas had a very open, uncluttered, look about them.’
    • ‘They laughed and hurried sheepishly downstairs, leaving the key on the reception desk in the hotel lobby.’
    • ‘The moment they opened the doors to the reception area they were greeted with techno music and the smell of green tea.’
    • ‘All lost property found in and around the building is sent to reception.’
    • ‘How anybody who has obviously taken a vow of silence can find gainful employment in the reception of a four-star hotel will have to remain a mystery.’
  • 5British The first class in an infant or primary school.

    ‘my son is in reception’
    as modifier ‘the reception class’
    • ‘They all lent a hand, from reception four-year-olds to the top class.’
    • ‘The regional survey revealed 15 cases of reception class children verbally abusing teachers and seven cases at nurseries.’
    • ‘But Southfield Park Primary School's reception class is already up and running, working together in a purpose-built block on the site in Long Grove Road.’
    • ‘A total of 27 reception pupils were due to begin their school life at Burrsville Infant School, in Craigfield Avenue, Great Clacton, yesterday.’
    • ‘Anne O'Grady has been a reception class teacher at the school for 5 years.’
    • ‘They hope the pioneering scheme will start in September next year and grow from an initial reception class of 30 pupils to a bilingual school of 180 after six years.’
    • ‘Youngsters in the nursery and reception classes were asked to dress up as their favourite animal as they celebrated the 12 animals used to represent the Chinese calendar.’
    • ‘Children made a very good start in the reception class.’
    • ‘Every parent in the York area who has a child who is due to start in reception will receive a copy of the form with a written explanation.’
    • ‘I have worked as a reception class teacher for 22 years.’
    • ‘My son, who is in reception class, brings books home to read.’
    • ‘Youngsters can enter the school's reception class at the age of four.’
    • ‘The new buildings will form the first phase of plans to extend the school and will enable St Margaret's to offer two classes in the reception intake, easing the school's long waiting lists.’
    • ‘The problems started in January 2002 when Michael went into reception class.’
    • ‘The nursery and reception classes do very well and children with special educational needs are achieving a very good standard.’
    • ‘My son was five in July and started full-time reception class in April.’
    • ‘The consequences of this are apparent in the nursery and reception classes in our schools, where children are being pressed to conform in ways that go against all sense of good practice in the early years.’
    • ‘For he is one of 34 boys and girls who missed out on a place in this year's three oversubscribed reception classes at Whiteley Primary School.’
    • ‘There is also close liaison with the school's reception class.’
    • ‘The tests have led to a narrowing of the curriculum, even in reception classes.’
    • ‘It may not seem significant, but installing a door between the nursery and reception classes will allow more flexibility in the way children are grouped.’
  • 6American Football
    An act of catching a pass.

    ‘his 49 receptions included six touchdowns’
    • ‘The 33-year-old Moore holds the NFL record for receptions in a season, catching 123 passes in 1995 for Detroit.’
    • ‘Three plays later, Trent Green hit Eddie Kennison for a 15-yard touchdown reception.’
    • ‘As it turns out, the Jaguars had no reason to be worried: Smith's first reception was a 27-yarder for a touchdown.’
    • ‘Then they made an announcement in the stadium that I had just broken the NFL record for touchdown receptions in one season with 18.’
    • ‘During that six-year period, the five wide receivers who led the Cowboys in catching had 372 receptions for 5,576 yards and 22 touchdowns.’
    • ‘Departed tight end Shannon Sharpe led the Broncos in receptions in six of the past eight seasons.’
    • ‘His 96-yard touchdown reception against the Raiders in the 2000 playoffs is an NFL record.’
    • ‘How about his 47-yard touchdown reception against Notre Dame?’
    • ‘Perfect - either Alexander would have a touchdown reception or the pass would be incomplete and the Broncos would have another two downs to get points.’
    • ‘Staley turned the game in the first half with a 23-yard touchdown reception.’


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin receptio(n-), from the verb recipere (see receive).