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[ri-sep-tiv] /rɪˈsɛp tɪv/
having the quality of receiving, taking in, or admitting.
able or quick to receive knowledge, ideas, etc.:
a receptive mind.
willing or inclined to receive suggestions, offers, etc., with favor:
a receptive listener.
of or relating to reception or receptors:
a receptive end organ.
(in language learning) of or relating to the language skills of listening and reading (opposed to productive).
Origin of receptive
From the Medieval Latin word receptīvus, dating back to 1540-50. See reception, -ive
Related forms
receptively, adverb
[ree-sep-tiv-i-tee] /ˌri sɛpˈtɪv ɪ ti/ (Show IPA),
receptiveness, noun
nonreceptive, adjective
nonreceptively, adverb
nonreceptiveness, noun
nonreceptivity, noun
unreceptive, adjective
unreceptively, adverb
unreceptiveness, noun
unreceptivity, noun
3. amenable, hospitable, responsive, open. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for receptiveness
Historical Examples
  • In the days of their youth it was natural, but the receptiveness of youth has departed, and they cannot see.

    Jennie Gerhardt Theodore Dreiser
  • Their earnestness and receptiveness were my great help and reward in my venture.

  • But the silence seemed now to hold a new element—the element of receptiveness.

    The Furnace

    Rose Macaulay
  • The height of the plane of absorption depends on the state of receptiveness of the hypnotist more than the subject.

    Professor Huskins Lettie M. Cummings
  • The condition is one of excitation and receptiveness, where art may speak and we shall understand.

    Emerson and Other Essays John Jay Chapman
  • In some subtle way this little concentrated world, within a world, seems to draw one's receptiveness away from it all.

    Far to Seek Maud Diver
  • He thought this her unusual wisdom and discernment, never dreaming it had been mostly his training and her receptiveness.

    A Little Girl in Old Salem

    Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • In spite of all his receptiveness and sensitiveness, Erasmus is never fully in contact with life.

  • This receptiveness to new ideas is one of the most remarkable features in St. Paul's mind.

    Outspoken Essays William Ralph Inge
  • Was there no place where one could enjoy the art of fellow-artists without having one's spirit jarred out of all receptiveness?


    Charles Neville Buck
British Dictionary definitions for receptiveness


able to apprehend quickly
tending to receive new ideas or suggestions favourably
able to hold or receive
Derived Forms
receptively, adverb
receptivity (ˌriːsɛpˈtɪvɪtɪ), receptiveness, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for receptiveness



1540s, from Medieval Latin receptivus, from Latin recipere (see receive). Related: Receptivity.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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