[ rek-ree-ey-shuh n ]
/ ˌrɛk riˈeɪ ʃən /


refreshment by means of some pastime, agreeable exercise, or the like.
a pastime, diversion, exercise, or other resource affording relaxation and enjoyment.

Origin of recreation

1350–1400; Middle English recreacioun (< Middle French recreation) < Latin recreātiōn- (stem of recreātiō) restoration, recovery, equivalent to recreāt(us) (see recreate) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsrec·re·a·to·ry [rek-ree-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈrɛk ri əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for recreatory


/ (ˌrɛkrɪˈeɪʃən) /


refreshment of health or spirits by relaxation and enjoyment
an activity or pastime that promotes this
  1. an interval of free time between school lessons
  2. (as modifier)recreation period
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 recreatory



late 14c., "refreshment or curing of a person, refreshment by eating," from Old French recreacion (13c.), from Latin recreationem (nominative recreatio) "recovery from illness," noun of action from past participle stem of recreare "to refresh, restore, make anew, revive, invigorate," from re- "again" (see re-) + creare (see create). Meaning "refresh oneself by some amusement" is first recorded c.1400.

A verb recreate "to refresh by physical influence after exertion" is attested from early 15c. and was used by Lyly, Pope, Steele, and Harriet Martineau, but it did not take, probably to avoid confusion with recreate.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper