Try Our Apps


The Best Internet Slang


[ri-sep-shuh-nist] /rɪˈsɛp ʃə nɪst/
a person employed to receive and assist callers, clients, etc., as in an office.
Theology. a person who advocates receptionism.
Origin of receptionist
First recorded in 1865-70; reception + -ist Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for receptionist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The receptionist did the things that receptionists do, then looked up at him again.

    Mercenary Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • Martha Ryan, the receptionist, glanced knowingly at the closed door.

    Unthinkable Roger Phillips Graham
  • Executive level, Kennon thought as he followed the receptionist's directions.

    The Lani People J. F. Bone
  • Brad spoke to the receptionist, who had been watching the Cubs with intent interest.

    Dan Carter Cub Scout Mildred A. Wirt
  • Seeing Brad and Dan, the receptionist regarded them with cold disapproval.

    Dan Carter Cub Scout Mildred A. Wirt
British Dictionary definitions for receptionist


a person employed in an office, hotel, doctor's surgery, etc, to receive clients, guests, or patients, answer the telephone, arrange appointments, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for receptionist

"person hired to receive clients in an office," 1900, from reception + -ist. Originally in photography studios.

Let me not forget the receptionist -- generally and preferably, a woman of refined and gentle manners, well informed and specially gifted in handling people of varied dispositions. A woman especially who knows how to handle other women, and who can make herself beloved by the children who may visit the studio. A woman, also, who in a thoroughly suave and dignified way, knows just how to handle the young man of the period so that the photographer may be glad to have his business. What a power the receptionist is when properly chosen and trained. It is not too much to say that she can both make and destroy a business, if she has the amount of discretionary power given to her in some galleries. [John A. Tennant, "Business Methods Applied in Photography," "Wilson's Photographic Magazine," October 1900]
Earlier as an adjective in theology and law (1867).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for receptionist

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for receptionist

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for receptionist