• IPA: /ɹɪˈsiːv/

receive (receives, present participle receiving; past and past participle received)

  1. To take, as something that is offered, given, committed, sent, paid, etc.; to accept; to be given something.
    She received many presents for her birthday.
    • c. 1604–1605, William Shakespeare, “All’s VVell, that Ends VVell”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act II, scene i], page 235 ↗, column 1:
      Our hearts receiue your warnings.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, 1 Kings 8:64–Lord}} was too little to receiue the burnt offerings, and meat offerings, and the fat of the peace offerings. ↗, column 1:
      [T]he braſen Altar that was before the {{smallcaps
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XXXIX, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 4293071 ↗, page 305 ↗:
      Nothing was too small to receive attention, if a supervising eye could suggest improvements likely to conduce to the common welfare. Mr. Gordon Burnage, for instance, personally visited dust-bins and back premises, accompanied by a sort of village bailiff, going his round like a commanding officer doing billets.
  2. (law) To take goods knowing them to be stolen.
  3. To act as a host for guests; to give admittance to; to permit to enter, as into one's house, presence, company, etc.
    to receive a lodger, visitor, ambassador, messenger, etc.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Acts 28:2 ↗, column 1:
      And the barbarous people ſhewed vs no little kindneſſe: for they kindled a fire, and receiued us euery one becauſe of the preſent raine, and becauſe of the cold.
    • 1892, Walter Besant, “The Select Circle”, in The Ivory Gate: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, […], OCLC 16832619 ↗, page 46 ↗:
      In former days every tavern of repute kept such a room for the select circle—a club, or society, of habitués, who met every evening for a pipe and a cheerful glass. [...] Strangers might enter the room, but they were made to feel that they were there on sufferance; they were received with distance and suspicion.
  4. To incur (an injury).
    I received a bloody nose from the collision.
  5. To allow (a custom, tradition, etc.); to give credence or acceptance to.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Mark 7:3–4 ↗, column 2:
      For the Phariſes and all the Jewes, except they waſh their hands oft, eate not, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they come from the market, except they waſh, they eate not. And many other things there be, which they have receiued to hold, as the waſhing of cups and pots, braſen veſſels, and of tables.
  6. (telecommunications) To detect a signal from a transmitter.
  7. (sports) To be in a position to take possession, or hit back the ball.
    1. (tennis, badminton, squash) To be in a position to hit back a service.
    2. (American football) To be in a position to catch a forward pass.
  8. (transitive, intransitive) To accept into the mind; to understand.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 57, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book I, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      I cannot receive {{transterm