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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 unreceptive
Historical Examples
  • If we are not in the mood for it, we are unreceptive of Nature's impressions, and we are irresponsive.

    The Heart of Nature Francis Younghusband
  • "So disheartening," fell on Flora Macmichel's unreceptive ear.

    A Sheaf of Corn Mary E. Mann
  • Now, when she saw how unreceptive these two people were, she hoped he would not.

    Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
  • The force of Gillies' argument was not lost on the unreceptive Wallace.

    The Whelps of the Wolf George Marsh
  • But the glad message to one fell on the unreceptive ears of the other.

    An Oregon Girl Alfred Ernest Rice
  • The sensorium is ‘unreceptive,’ so the idea does not reach consciousness.

  • One could not appeal to stone; they were hard, unreceptive, hostile; they would turn cold eyes upon his outburst.

    The Lonely Unicorn Alec Waugh
  • Sometimes when your mood has been particularly, well, unreceptive, I have thought of going away so that I might write to you.

    New Faces Myra Kelly
  • He turned right and left a brilliant countenance that had the glitter of frost-light; it sparkled and was unreceptive.

  • They fell still-born upon the unreceptive soil of European culture at that epoch.

British Dictionary definitions for unreceptive


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 unreceptive



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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