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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 receptivity
Historical Examples
  • At the end of thirty days, we will mail you the Second Degree (for receptivity).

    The Right Knock

    Helen Van-Anderson
  • The love of Nature, the different love, is a matter of our own receptivity.

    Child and Country Will Levington Comfort
  • The imperfection of the healer, and the lack of receptivity in the patient, are local limitations.

    The Arena Various
  • It is manifested by the states of gravity, receptivity, coldness, and darkness.

    How to Become Rich

    William Windsor
  • One of the most interesting things about Forster was his "receptivity."

    John Forster Percy Hethrington Fitzgerald
  • He is hampered in the giving by the want of receptivity in those to whom his message is addressed.

    Avatras Annie Besant
  • As with everything good in human life, back of this receptivity is God.

    The Pursuit of God A. W. Tozer
  • receptivity, not originality, is the characteristic of the Malay races.

    A Manual of the Malay language William Edward Maxwell
  • But it is to be no mere life of receptivity, with no effort of their own.

  • The Congo native is in a continuous state of receptivity when it comes to food.

    An African Adventure Isaac F. Marcosson
British Dictionary definitions for receptivity


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 receptivity



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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