- a person employed to receive and assist callers, clients, etc., as in an office.
- Theology. a person who advocates receptionism.
Origin of receptionist
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for receptionist
Receptionist, former lover, and still receptionist Connie Plotz deconstructs his private obsessions and cultural stereotypes.Joshua Ferris’s New Novel Chronicles an Existential Dentist in Despair
May 6, 2014
Tolman was temping as a receptionist at a consulting firm for $11 an hour when she first auditioned for Molly.Meet ‘Fargo’ Breakout Star Allison Tolman
April 23, 2014
When Muñoz got back to her office, the receptionist told her Senator Reid wanted to speak with her.Cecilia Munoz, Quarterback of Obama’s Immigration Reform Efforts
July 29, 2013
This prerequisite applies to everyone, including the receptionist, paralegals, administrative assistants and file clerks.Sorry, Kids, No High School Diplomas Need Apply
February 20, 2013
Greig asked to be connected to "Kate, my grandaughter," and was put through by the receptionist.Tragedy As Receptionist Who Connected Kate Middleton Prank Callers Commits Suicide
December 7, 2012
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
Seeing Brad and Dan, the receptionist regarded them with cold disapproval.
Brad spoke to the receptionist, who had been watching the Cubs with intent interest.
- a person employed in an office, hotel, doctor's surgery, etc, to receive clients, guests, or patients, answer the telephone, arrange appointments, etc
Word Origin and History for receptionist
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