Definition of receive in English:



  • 1Be given, presented with, or paid (something)

    ‘most businesses will receive a tax cut’
    ‘she received her prize from the manager’
    • ‘The historic buildings which will receive grants in the present allocation are from right across the country.’
    • ‘He was a prizewinner in 1988 at the Leipzig International Bach Competition in Spain, also receiving the special virtuoso prize for the most outstanding performance of the event.’
    • ‘Her claim is that she received an unequivocal assurance that the property was structurally sound.’
    • ‘We always receive thank-you cards and presents from guests who have stayed with us and that gives me such a buzz.’
    • ‘Big business has received huge tax cuts over the last ten years.’
    • ‘I pointed out that most people had received their TVs as presents.’
    • ‘After a burst of thunderous applause, the children received a lot of presents.’
    • ‘Eid is a favourite among Muslim children, as they receive lots of presents!’
    • ‘Boys and girls also receive different numbers of presents, although the amount of money spent on their gifts is the same.’
    • ‘Sir - I was saddened to read the story in last week's Western People about people who abandon pets after receiving them as Christmas presents.’
    • ‘German convicts work at real jobs while incarcerated - and even receive four weeks of paid vacation each year!’
    • ‘Winners will receive garden vouchers as prizes, which will be presented at the Horticultural Show on July 16.’
    • ‘Teenagers in Blackburn and Darwen will receive an extra birthday present this year as part of a mayor's plan to encourage young people to vote.’
    • ‘The award winner receives a medallion presented in an attractive protective pouch and a certificate.’
    • ‘Both employees received an all-expenses paid holiday to Barbados as a reward for their efforts.’
    • ‘Members of the Royal Family receive hundreds of presents, often from people they have never met.’
    • ‘I never kept a diary when I was growing up but I did receive them as Christmas presents and loved the idea of documenting my daily and dull doings.’
    • ‘The office is giving increased scrutiny to international tax arrangements, reflecting the rising number of individuals and businesses receiving overseas income.’
    • ‘Each person will also receive a present courtesy of the organisers.’
    • ‘At present, farmers receive nine pence from every 36p pint of milk sold.’
    • ‘Anyone who earns money or receives income should pay taxes and the truth is, everyone does pay taxes.’
    • ‘In addition, she received an apology for any injustice occasioned to her.’
    be given, be presented with, be awarded, collect, accept, have conferred on one
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    1. 1.1Take delivery of (something sent or communicated)
      ‘he received fifty inquiries after advertising the job’
      • ‘You might have noticed it when sending and receiving Christmas cards last month.’
      • ‘You get a confirmation of the sent fax emailed back to you and naturally, any faxes sent to you are received via your e-mail.’
      • ‘Most e-mail users send and/or receive one to five messages a day, and they check their mails at least once a day.’
      • ‘Ballot papers need to be received by returning officers no later than 10 pm on Thursday June 10.’
      • ‘Any information you might have would be gratefully received.’
      • ‘It is my honorary responsibility to receive donations, subscriptions and offerings sent to the group.’
      • ‘A letter confirming the ballot paper would be sent out was also received yesterday.’
      • ‘The appellant never received an acknowledgement of his application.’
      • ‘Any contributions from you will be gratefully received and replied to.’
      • ‘Do you think that employers should be allowed to read the e-mails of their employees sent from or received by the computers of the company?’
      • ‘Entry forms for the forthcoming Community Games should have been received by now.’
      • ‘More than 450 submissions had been received by inquiry commissioner Kevin Sproats.’
      • ‘This allows phones to send and receive much longer messages, which will remove the need for the shorthand familiar to every teenage texter.’
      • ‘The news has been gratefully received by Mr Harris, who called him on Saturday night to check on his old buddy.’
      • ‘Completed ballot papers must be received by the Council by 10 pm on Thursday, June 10.’
      • ‘These are my ideas so far, but any further contributions will be gratefully received.’
      • ‘Residents and businesses have been receiving important letters - containing vital documents such as cheques, contracts and airline tickets - days late or not at all.’
      • ‘Royal Mail have assured me that papers received today will be delivered tomorrow.’
      • ‘Scotland was top in 12 out of a total of 13 areas including the number of businesses making and receiving payments online and the quality of ICT advice available.’
      • ‘I send and receive most of my parish communications by e-mail.’
      • ‘So frustrated have the members become that they have now decided to offer the map for sale, and already one inquiry has been received.’
      • ‘The volume of the communications that we send and receive has multiplied tremendously.’
      be sent, be in receipt of
      be told, be informed of, be notified of, be made aware of, hear, discover, learn, gather, get wind of
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Buy or accept goods in the knowledge that they have been stolen.
      ‘a man convicted of receiving stolen property’
      • ‘Detective Chief Inspector Paul Fountain, of West Yorkshire Police, said it was important to realise receiving stolen goods perpetuated the criminal market.’
      • ‘He was twice sentenced to jail - once for disorderly conduct and once for receiving stolen property - but each time the sentence was suspended.’
      • ‘Within a year of his return he was sentenced to hard labour at Newcastle for receiving stolen property.’
      • ‘He also admitted receiving stolen goods, having no licence and having no insurance.’
      • ‘The 42 others were charged with robbery, theft, receiving and concealing stolen goods and wrongful damage to property.’
      • ‘Clark was charged with robbery of a motor vehicle, theft by unlawful taking or disposition, and receiving stolen property, all felonies.’
      • ‘Police Captain Blackie Swart confirmed that a scrapyard employee was to appear in court today for receiving stolen property.’
      • ‘He has received stolen goods and keeps a secret store of them in his den.’
      • ‘It also was common for the women to offload received stolen goods upon their relatives.’
      • ‘But hang on, there is no doubt that he must have either stolen or received them.’
      • ‘The 35-year-old was charged with receiving stolen goods but failed to appear in court.’
      • ‘A former Chiswick man charged with receiving stolen goods from a house in Chiswick and breaking bail conditions appeared at Feltham court last week.’
      • ‘He pleaded guilty to receiving stolen goods, the £89 trainers.’
      • ‘He was charged with receiving stolen goods (a Mercedes four wheel drive) on August 3, 2003.’
      • ‘Gibson is charged with receiving stolen property, resisting arrest, firearms violations and drug charges.’
      • ‘It means that museums can receive stolen goods, something which is illegal for everyone else.’
      • ‘Measures will also be taken to catch people who receive stolen goods - particularly those who use second-hand outlets and car boot sales.’
      • ‘If we buy the land we are receiving stolen goods.’
      • ‘A 53-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman were last night charged with receiving stolen property in connection with the robbery.’
      • ‘Five men, aged between 18 and 22, face multiple charges including burglary, theft, and receiving stolen goods.’
    3. 1.3Detect or pick up (broadcast signals)
      ‘Turkish television began to be received in Tashkent’
      • ‘Listeners will continue to receive BBC World Service programmes in English from 21.00 to 05.00.’
      • ‘Some handsets are available that can receive free analog terrestrial broadcasts but these pictures tend to break up when transmitted to a moving device.’
      • ‘Current and future Sky subscribers will still be able to receive all the BBC's services.’
      • ‘Listeners will continue to receive a further 15 hours of programming in Arabic on both frequencies.’
      • ‘A closer look reveals unusual devices on its roof - satellite antennas to receive signals from space.’
      • ‘Listeners will also be able to receive the BBC local service, Radio Devon, which is already available on DAB.’
      • ‘Listeners will need a DAB digital radio to receive the BBC's digital radio broadcasts.’
      • ‘Receivers in aircraft or helicopters will typically be able to receive the signals at distances up to about five miles.’
      • ‘In a few years, PDAs will probably be able to function as televisions by receiving terrestrial digital signals, says Hinze.’
      • ‘These systems work by comparing time signals received from different satellites.’
      • ‘Kagan had already been there, and the screen showed the list of navigation buoys whose signals they were receiving and their approximate distances.’
      • ‘A station on the earth's surface sends the signal to the satellite, which receives the signal and rebroadcasts it to other places on the earth.’
      • ‘Many African countries still do not have universal radio or TV services capable of being received in all parts by all people.’
      • ‘There are now estimated to be 10 million homes in the UK which can receive all of the BBC's digital services.’
      • ‘There are four ways to receive a digital television broadcast.’
      • ‘Scares about mobile phones have centred on two areas - the handsets and the base stations, whose antennae receive and broadcast signals.’
      • ‘There is a minute electrical current induced in the antenna by the radio signal it receives.’
      • ‘For a fee private subscribers could also be hooked up to receive the time signal.’
      • ‘Current and future Sky subscribers will continue to receive all BBC services.’
      • ‘As transmitters are switched on and new areas receive BBC digital radio broadcasts the postcode checker on the website will also be updated.’
    4. 1.4Form (an idea or impression) as a result of perception or experience.
      ‘the impression she received was one of unhurried leisure’
      • ‘That is certainly the impression one receives from the memoir of Gustave Folcher.’
      • ‘It can only generate new ideas by receiving new impressions.’
      • ‘In the stimulus-drawing approach, the images take the place of words as the source for receiving and expressing ideas.’
      • ‘The eye receives an impression in a very minute fraction of a second.’
      • ‘He concentrated, focusing his thoughts on the strange impressions he was receiving.’
      • ‘Of course the impression the observer receives from a photograph is, in the final analysis, always subjective.’
      • ‘I would like to record some initial impressions I received from the encounter.’
      • ‘This is why I only have to open my eyes and paint the impressions that I receive.’
      • ‘Simple things should not be ignored, such as the first impression you receive when entering the agent's office.’
      • ‘The impressions one receives are of the weariness of a traveler who must convince himself by convincing others that what he has seen and experienced is as real as his own skin.’
      • ‘We receive the impression that belief in the existence of God is based entirely upon these proofs.’
    5. 1.5(in tennis and similar games) be the player to whom the server serves (the ball)
      • ‘The player served to is the only player allowed to receive the serve.’
      • ‘Unlike other racquet sports like squash or racquetball, in tennis, a point can be made by the server or by the player receiving the serve.’
      • ‘In also receiving the ball, a tennis player, in order to return the ball effectively, must ascertain the type of spin which has been imparted to the ball so as to be able to compensate in the return stroke for the spin or rotation of the ball in flight during trajectory.’
      • ‘Their opponent stands diagonally opposite, ready to receive the ball.’
    6. 1.6(in Christian services) eat or drink (the Eucharistic bread or wine)
      ‘he received Communion and left’
      • ‘Ten percent said ‘you are receiving bread and wine, in which Jesus is really and truly present.’’
      • ‘So why should openly pro-choice politicians get to receive Jesus in the sacrament of Holy Communion?’
      • ‘It also states that as the two churches share the same beliefs about the presence of Christ in communion, Anglicans should not be excluded from receiving the Roman Eucharist.’
      • ‘But we must recall that in approaching the altar we receive our Lord, body and blood, soul and divinity.’
      • ‘He had ignited a controversy over the Eucharist, claiming the right for the laity to receive both the bread and the wine at Mass.’
    7. 1.7Consent to formally hear (an oath or confession)
      ‘he failed to find a magistrate to receive his oath’
      • ‘I will allow this evidence to be received as its probative value clearly outweighs its prejudicial effect.’
      • ‘He provided two reliquaries on which to receive their oaths - one for his magnates, splendidly fabricated of crystal and gold, but entirely empty, the other for the common herd, plainer and enshrining a bird's egg.’
    8. 1.8Serve as a receptacle for.
      ‘the basin that receives your blood’
      • ‘The flag should never be used as a receptacle for receiving, holding, carrying, or delivering anything.’
      • ‘Each tube received an aliquot of 100 ml of sodium fluoride solution (20 mg/l) and was sealed and shaken in a bath maintained at 298 K for 3 hours.’
  • 2Suffer, experience, or be subject to (specified treatment)

    ‘the event received wide press coverage’
    ‘he received an eight-year prison sentence’
    ‘she received only cuts and bruises’
    • ‘The union said helpline staff had also received more training.’
    • ‘And staff members also receive further training to acquaint them with technological developments.’
    • ‘Rural and farming life also received more attention, in situ.’
    • ‘People love it, we have only received positive feedback so far.’
    • ‘Women who receive prompt treatment appear to suffer no long-term harm from the condition.’
    • ‘In all countries where such programs are available, a user who has been receiving treatment outside the prison setting can continue doing so inside.’
    • ‘As well as suffering from asthma, she is receiving medical treatment for anorexia.’
    • ‘But he claims the Morans received much better treatment than he ever has from Victoria Police.’
    • ‘The press coverage the event receives is invaluable, she said, but she suggested the industry also consider the strength of the subliminal message.’
    • ‘News of his sudden death was received with much sadness in his home parish.’
    • ‘Mathematics, traditionally a subject that receives little attention, is gaining popularity among students choosing college courses.’
    • ‘Here the inmates received the most dehumanising treatment from warders and other prisoners.’
    • ‘After group discussions each person receives coaching on which attitudes need to change to support progress.’
    • ‘They are also to receive counselling for the emotional effects of their ordeal.’
    • ‘Soldiers seeking course enrollment must first receive counseling from an Educational Services Specialist.’
    • ‘The Church was shocked by the hostile press treatment it received following a campaign to save the home.’
    • ‘He is now out of prison and receiving treatment for alcoholism.’
    • ‘The 35-year-old cabbie from Wakefield walked grinning from the city's magistrates court after receiving the fine and a six-month driving ban.’
    • ‘Even though we have therapies, many people continue to experience pain despite receiving treatment.’
    • ‘Those investigating the case say they won't rest until the person responsible receives a prison term.’
    • ‘But she was found guilty by a jury at Basildon Crown Court and received a two-year conditional discharge.’
    experience, sustain, undergo, meet with, encounter, go through, be subjected to, come in for
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    1. 2.1Respond to (something) in a specified way.
      ‘her first poem was not well received’
      • ‘While you may believe your ideas have been well received, it may only appear that way.’
      • ‘Mr Topp came up with the idea but had no idea how it would be received.’
      • ‘The news of her death was received with deep and widespread regret throughout the parish.’
      • ‘Although Ohm's work strongly influenced theory, it was received with little enthusiasm.’
      • ‘It's a great idea and hopefully will be received well by all ages, especially the youngsters.’
      • ‘The producers apparently had little idea of how the movie would be received.’
      • ‘The introduction of the new bylaws has been received with different reactions.’
      • ‘News of his passing was received with sadness by family members and old neighbours.’
      • ‘Even the Duchy quarterly The Cornish Banner received the book enthusiastically.’
      • ‘News of her passing was received with regret by her friends in the area.’
      • ‘Enthusiastically receiving the rules and given free rein to be as chauvinistic as they like, the five men meet in the pub to think up some new rules of their own.’
      • ‘Violin solos by Mr Jenkins and solos by other instrumentalists were enthusiastically received.’
      • ‘It encompasses not only ideas that are favourably received but also those that offend shock or disturb.’
      • ‘Not only was the idea well received, Clinton found that it was his biggest applause line on the stump.’
      • ‘So far the project, now entering its second year, has been received with enthusiasm.’
      • ‘News of her death was received with much regret in the town.’
      hear, listen to
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2Meet with (a specified response or reaction)
      ‘the rulings have received widespread acceptance’
      • ‘The idea has received a mostly positive reception at the Forum.’
      • ‘When he voiced his suspicions to Sandy, he did not expect to receive such a violent reaction.’
      • ‘One could see that they liked dancing with each other and that they were very glad that the performance received such a good reaction.’
      • ‘In my first time overseas I am receiving a completely different reaction to my nationality than my seasoned traveller friends told me to expect.’
      • ‘I did receive a few positive reactions from mainly Dutch and German managers.’
      • ‘Jane went on to tell of the fabulous reaction Shaylyn received from the people who attended the show.’
      • ‘Before making its last performance in Taipei, the university's orchestra and chorus had toured in Taichung and Pingtung, receiving passionate audience responses.’
      • ‘She looked down at her food, embarrassed by the reaction her question had received.’
      • ‘I received some unexpected negative reactions as a result of this language difference.’
      • ‘The company says that it may well offer both colours in the future, but that it received a better customer reaction from a black and silver finish.’
      • ‘Did you ever think the film would receive such a great reaction?’
      • ‘The press pumps up many, but few receive such widespread public reverence.’
      • ‘Plans for the redevelopment of a public house in Chiswick were unveiled last week and received an almost unprecedented reaction.’
      • ‘What intrigued me about Florida's current publicity tour is the uncritical adulation his ideas seem to be receiving in much of the Australian media.’
      • ‘The idea has already received support from the people chosen to head the scheme.’
      • ‘Ms Selby has received a very positive reaction from the vast majority of employers she has encountered.’
      • ‘My mother did know who my father was, but she was too afraid to tell anyone for fear of the reactions she would receive.’
      • ‘The only thing I can ask for is to receive this type of response and enthusiasm with the next story I have planned.’
      • ‘Hopefully now the song will become available to buy in the shops and all going well, at least according to the reaction we have been receiving, it's going to be a massive hit.’
      • ‘It seems to be universal in its appeal judging by the reactions I have received.’
      • ‘The android looked clearly stunned, not expecting to receive such a reaction from a normally pleasant woman.’
      hear, listen to
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    3. 2.3Widely accepted as authoritative or true.
      ‘the myths and received wisdom about the country's past’
      • ‘In doing so, it re-examines many of the received opinions on the Thatcher years.’
      • ‘But then, overdosing on received wisdom and political correctness does tend to result in irony deficiency.’
      • ‘At least, that's the received knowledge, and it's pretty much true.’
      • ‘Others, however, will embrace ephemeral educational fashions as the received wisdom.’
      • ‘Critical ventures should not be bound by received wisdom or apparent common sense.’
      • ‘Or was this a wry post-modernist conceptual take on our received notions of the picture postcard?’
      • ‘To say that they are inferior is to go with received opinion.’
      • ‘The author reads them as narratives of resistance to the received wisdom of the health educators.’
      • ‘Giotto's place in the history of Western art is more complex than the received tradition allows.’
      • ‘But clearly the received opinion was that they'd rather be seeing the actual band.’
      • ‘As a matter of fact, I did, but it came as quite a shock to discover that I was just as guilty of accepting received wisdom as fact as the next man.’
      • ‘Again this suggests the shortcoming of the received approach to these general epistles.’
      • ‘They appear to leave in their wake both the received theory and prevailing paradigms of the time.’
      • ‘As we saw in section 5.3.1, the supreme exercise of power exists in received assumptions about what is appropriate.’
      • ‘We're programmed to accept this received opinion as the god-honest truth.’
      • ‘It fundamentally questioned all of my received notions of what was good about music.’
      • ‘The same is true of the latest piece of received wisdom, that all our problems would be solved if we adopted the baccalaureate.’
      • ‘At least New South Wales Premier Bob Carr challenged the received wisdom.’
      conventional, mainstream, conformist, accepted, approved, received, recognized, correct, proper, established, well established, authorized, authoritative, traditional, traditionalist, prevailing, prevalent, common, popular, customary, usual, normal, regular, standard, canonical, doctrinal, unheretical, conservative, unoriginal, derivative
      View synonyms
    4. 2.4Meet and have to withstand.
      ‘the landward slopes receive the full force of the wind’
      • ‘The outer edge of the reef receives the full force of breaking waves, protecting the inner Australian shoreline.’
      • ‘For example, each barrier island has a shoreline that faces the sea and receives the full force of waves, tides, and currents.’
      • ‘Richardson, who was on the front seat of the vehicle beside the driver, received the full force of the collision.’
      get, be given, be sent, obtain, acquire, procure, come by, take receipt of
      View synonyms
  • 3Greet or welcome (a visitor) formally.

    ‘representatives of the club will be received by the Mayor’
    • ‘I went to receive him at the airport as he was visiting the town for a lecture.’
    • ‘Not until 1600 did Elizabeth consent to receive him at court.’
    • ‘Heads of State on official visits to France, mayors of major cities and prominent figures are received at the City Hall by the Mayor and the Council of Paris.’
    • ‘On his recent visit to New Zealand, he was received by our government officials.’
    greet, welcome, say hello to, show in, usher in, admit, let in
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1Be visited by.
      ‘she was not allowed to receive visitors’
      • ‘She loved people and she was always most welcoming in receiving visitors into our home.’
      • ‘Pierre noted that St Lucia receives some 700,000 visitors a year and it is important to produce goods visitors can enjoy.’
      • ‘She has lost contact with her family and receives no other visitors.’
      • ‘It receives some 800 visitors a day all year round.’
      • ‘She described the large house, trimmed hedges, her uniform, and the mother who dressed elegantly to receive and visit friends for lunch.’
      entertain, be at home to
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2Admit as a member.
      ‘hundreds of converts were received into the Church’
      • ‘Those who are to be received into the communion of the Church of England stand before the president to make this declaration.’
      • ‘After she recovered, she was received into the Catholic Church.’
      • ‘With Newman's guidance, he was received into the Roman Catholic Church in 1866.’
      • ‘According to Catholic custom, they receive a special name and are received into the Church.’
    3. 3.3Provide space or accommodations for.
      ‘three lines are reserved for special vehicles, and the remaining lines receive the general rolling stock’
      • ‘The front of the housing is open, while the rear of the housing has a rear wall with a slot that receives the contact unit.’
      • ‘A second connector housing is provided for receiving a second optical fiber plug.’


  • be at (or on) the receiving end

    • 1Be the person to whom a telephone call is made.

      • ‘Those that have been on the receiving end of calls say the scam is being performed very professionally.’
      1. 1.1informal Be subjected to something unpleasant.
        ‘she found herself on the receiving end of a good deal of teasing’
        • ‘They are just plain bad and unluckily, we were at the receiving end.’
        • ‘But I also know that if I wasn't a white male who has never been at the receiving end of racism I might see it differently.’
        • ‘We can hope that having been at the receiving end of a lot of human rights violations, they'll know first hand the value of respecting those human rights.’
        • ‘As somebody who has been at the receiving end of a libel writ, I am acutely aware of the costly and time-consuming nature of libel trials.’
        • ‘But for women who have been at the receiving end of sexual harassment in the work place, it is enough to shatter their sense of self.’
        • ‘At these times, he could pretend that Dr. Morris, or even General Powell was at the receiving end of his blows, taking everything he'd always wanted to give them.’
        • ‘Most of us have been at the receiving end of an injustice at some time in our lives.’
        • ‘And we've been at the receiving end of $62 million worth of attacks.’
        • ‘Mr Ahern's Government was at the receiving end of the fiercest broadside from Sinn Féin since the Good Friday Agreement.’
        • ‘I was at the receiving end of vicious bullying by individuals and groups, and it screwed me up big time.’


Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French receivre, based on Latin recipere, from re- back + capere take.