Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

receive - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb receive pronunciation in American English /rɪˈsiv/
Word Forms
present tense
present participlereceiving
past tensereceived
past participlereceived
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    [transitive] formal to get something that someone gives or sends to you
    Fewer people receive welfare benefits now.
    She received a camera as a twenty-fifth birthday present.
    We have not received your letter.
    receive something from someone: His views have received support from an unlikely source.
    The principal has already received several calls from angry parents.
    1. a.
      [intransitive/transitive] to deliberately accept or buy stolen goods, usually in order to sell them
      He was charged with receiving stolen goods.
  2. 2
    [transitive] to have a particular type of treatment or experience
    Several of the victims are receiving hospital treatment for burns.
    He received a five-year prison sentence.
    We received a visit from the pastor.
  3. 3
    [transitive] [usually passive] to react to something in a particular way
    Heather’s proposals were received without much enthusiasm.
  4. 4
    [transitive] to formally welcome a visitor
    Our group was received by the Brazilian ambassador.
    1. a.
      to officially accept someone into a group
      receive someone into something: Several opponents of women priests were received into the Catholic Church.
    2. b.
      formal to see visitors
      What time can patients receive visitors?
  5. 5
    [transitive] to get pictures or sound on a television, radio, or cell phone
    With a satellite dish you can receive hundreds of channels.
    1. a.
      to be able to hear a radio message
      Are you receiving me?


a meal served in the evening which consists of foods traditionally eaten at breakfast

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

troll factory

a company that pays its employees to write online comments in favour or against somebody or something posing as ordinary Internet users

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog