[ri-sip-ee-uh nt]


a person or thing that receives; receiver: the recipient of a prize.


receiving or capable of receiving.

Origin of recipient

1550–60; < Latin recipient- (stem of recipiēns), present participle of recipere to receive; see -ent
Related formsnon·re·cip·i·ent, adjective, nounun·re·cip·i·ent, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for recipient

beneficiary, heir, donee, legatee, awardee, conferree

Examples from the Web for recipient

Contemporary Examples of recipient

Historical Examples of recipient

  • He leaned from the saddle to bring his recipient hand to a convenient distance.


    Rafael Sabatini

  • I was doomed to be the recipient of confidences, and to be confronted with unanswerable questions.

    Lord Jim

    Joseph Conrad

  • He knew you then as something more than the recipient of his earnings.

    St. Patrick's Eve

    Charles James Lever

  • Where it is assumed that the recipient will not want to read the letter.

  • He was, indeed, the recipient of other honours not often awarded for scientific distinction.

British Dictionary definitions for recipient



a person who or thing that receives


a less common word for receptive

Word Origin for recipient

C16: via French from Latin recipiēns, from recipere to receive
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 recipient

1550s, from Middle French récipient (16c.) and directly from Latin recipientem (nominative recipiens), present participle of recipere (see receive). As an adjective from 1610s. Related: Recipience; recipiency.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

recipient in Medicine




Functioning as a receiver; receptive.


One who receives blood, tissue, or an organ from a donor.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.