generally or traditionally accepted; conventional; standard: a received moral idea.

Origin of received

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at receive, -ed2
Related formswell-re·ceived, adjective



verb (used with object), re·ceived, re·ceiv·ing.

to take into one's possession (something offered or delivered): to receive many gifts.
to have (something) bestowed, conferred, etc.: to receive an honorary degree.
to have delivered or brought to one: to receive a letter.
to get or be informed of: to receive instructions; to receive news.
to be burdened with; sustain: to receive a heavy load.
to hold, bear, or contain: The nut receives a bolt and a washer. The plaster receives the impression of the mold.
to take into the mind; apprehend mentally: to receive an idea.
to accept from another by hearing or listening: A priest received his confession.
to meet with; experience: to receive attention.
to suffer the injury of: He received a terrific blow on the forehead.
to be at home to (visitors): They received their neighbors on Sunday.
to greet or welcome (guests, visitors, etc.) upon arriving: They received us at the front door.
to admit (a person) to a place: The butler received him and asked him to wait in the drawing room.
to admit into an organization, membership, etc.: to receive someone into the group.
to accept as authoritative, valid, true, or approved: a principle universally received.
to react to in the manner specified: to receive a proposal with contempt; She received the job offer with joy.

verb (used without object), re·ceived, re·ceiv·ing.

to receive something.
to receive visitors or guests.
Radio. to convert incoming electromagnetic waves into the original signal.
to receive the Eucharist: He receives every Sunday.

Origin of receive

1250–1300; Middle English receven < Old North French receivre < Latin recipere, equivalent to re- re- + -cipere, combining form of capere to take
Related formsin·ter·re·ceive, verb (used with object), in·ter·re·ceived, in·ter·re·ceiv·ing.non·re·ceiv·ing, adjectivepre·re·ceive, verb (used with object), pre·re·ceived, pre·re·ceiv·ing.un·re·ceiv·ing, adjective

Synonyms for receive

Antonyms for receive

1. give. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for received

Contemporary Examples of received

Historical Examples of received

  • Who among you ever received an injury from that kind old man?


    Lydia Maria Child

  • She received his bits of news with the aplomb of a resourceful commander.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Not only that, but he would get into trouble with Mr. Paine on account of the damage which it had received.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • This was the most unwelcome intelligence he could have received.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • I have no evidence, except your word, that any such letter has been received.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

British Dictionary definitions for received



generally accepted or believedreceived wisdom


verb (mainly tr)

to take (something offered) into one's hand or possession
to have (an honour, blessing, etc) bestowed
to accept delivery or transmission of (a letter, telephone call, etc)
to be informed of (news or information)
to hear and consent to or acknowledge (an oath, confession, etc)
(of a vessel or container) to take or hold (a substance, commodity, or certain amount)
to support or sustain (the weight of something); bear
to apprehend or perceive (ideas, etc)
to experience, undergo, or meet withto receive a crack on the skull
(also intr) to be at home to (visitors)
to greet or welcome (visitors or guests), esp in formal style
to admit (a person) to a place, society, condition, etche was received into the priesthood
to accept or acknowledge (a precept or principle) as true or valid
to convert (incoming radio signals) into sounds, pictures, etc, by means of a receiver
(also intr) tennis to play at the other end from the server; be required to return (service)
(also intr) to partake of (the Christian Eucharist)
(intr) mainly British to buy and sell stolen goods

Word Origin for receive

C13: from Old French receivre, from Latin recipere to take back, from re- + capere to take
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

Word Origin and History for received

"generally accepted as true or good," mid-15c., past participle adjective from receive. Thomas Browne called such notions receptaries (1646).



c.1300, from Old North French receivre (Old French recoivre) "seize, take hold of, pick up; welcome, accept," from Latin recipere "regain, take back, bring back, carry back, recover; take to oneself, take in, admit," from re- "back," though the exact sense here is obscure (see re-) + -cipere, comb. form of capere "to take" (see capable). Radio and (later) television sense is attested from 1908. Related: Received; receiving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper