receive


receive
receive, accept, admit, take can all mean to permit to come into one's possession, presence, group, mind, or substance. They are seldom interchangeable except within a narrow range and, even then, rarely without modification of the thought expressed.
Receive very often implies nothing more than what has been stated in the common definition; it may be predicated of persons or of things
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he did not receive the news gladly

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the barrel receives excess rain water

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In general receive implies passiveness in the receiver even when the subject is a person and his response is indicated in the context
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an infant merely receives impressions, for he does not understand them

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soft wax receives the impression of anything that touches it

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Only when it implies welcoming or recognition does receive connote activity in the receiver
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after some delay, the king received the ambassador

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the social leaders refused to receive the newcomers

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the indifference and hostility with which his earlier work was receivedDay Lewis

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Accept adds to receive an implication of some measure of mental consent, even of approval; thus, a person may be received but not necessarily accepted in society ; an idea may be received but not accepted by the mind; one may receive without necessarily accepting an apology. Frequently accept suggests tacit acquiescence rather than active assent or approval. Sometimes it connotes an uncritical attitude
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the man who . . . accepted simply, as a matter of course, the tradition— Dickinson

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Sometimes it implies a surrender to the inevitable
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it is the business of the sensitive artist in life to accept his own nature as it is, not to try to force it into another shape— Huxley

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Admit is synonymous with receive only when the agent (the one that lets in) is the one that receives rather than introduces
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the king admitted the ambassador to his presence

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the heart admits fluid through these apertures

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Admit, in this restricted sense, is distinguishable from receive by slight syntactical differences but chiefly by its strong implications of permission, allowance, or sufferance; thus, a judge admits evidence only after its admissibility has been questioned and he has allowed its entrance. The situation remains the same when the subject is impersonal
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the archway was wide enough to admit ten men abreast

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Admit, in contrast with accept, often adds the implication of concession; thus, one who admits the truth of a contention accepts it more or less unwillingly; one can accept a proposition without question, but one admits it only after he has questioned it.
Take is a synonym of receive only when it suggests no reaching out on one's own part or of one's own initiative to get hold of something (see also TAKE 1) or when it suggests an offering, presenting, conferring, or inflicting by another; it then implies merely a letting something be put into one's hands, mind, possession, or control
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this gift was meant for you: take it or leave it as you please

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he takes whatever fortune sends him

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the British showed that they can take the German bombing

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what was it that made men follow Oliver Cromwell and take at his hands that which they would not receive from any of his contemporaries?— Crothers

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you don't have to take anything from him, or to stand his bad manners— Cather

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Analogous words: *enter, penetrate: seize, *take, grasp

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Receive — Re*ceive (r[ e]*s[=e]v ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Received} (r[ e]*s[=e]vd ); p. pr. & vb. n. {Receiving}.] [OF. receveir, recevoir, F. recevoir, fr. L. recipere; pref. re re + capere to take, seize. See {Capable}, {Heave}, and cf. {Receipt},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • receive — [ri sēv′] vt. received, receiving [ME receiven < Anglo Fr receivre < OFr < L recipere < re , back + capere, to take: see HAVE] 1. to take or get (something given, offered, sent, etc.); acquire or accept 2. to encounter; experience [to …   English World dictionary

  • receive — I (acquire) verb accept, accipere, assume, be given, capere, catch, collect, come by, derive, draw, earn, gain, gather, get, inherit, make, obtain, pick up, pocket, procure, realize, reap, secure, seize, take, take in, take possession, win… …   Law dictionary

  • Receive — Re*ceive (r[ e]*s[=e]v ), v. i. 1. To receive visitors; to be at home to receive calls; as, she receives on Tuesdays. [1913 Webster] 2. (Lawn Tennis) To return, or bat back, the ball when served; as, it is your turn to receive. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • receive — [v1] accept delivery of something accept, acquire, admit, apprehend, appropriate, arrogate, assume, be given, be informed, be in receipt of, be told, catch, collect, come by, come into, cop*, corral*, derive, draw, earn, gain, gather, get, get… …   New thesaurus

  • receive —   [engl.], empfangen …   Universal-Lexikon

  • receive — (v.) c.1300, from O.N.Fr. receivre (O.Fr. recoivre), from L. recipere regain, take back, from re back (see RE (Cf. re )) + cipere, comb. form of capere to take (see CAPABLE (Cf. capable)). Radio and (later) television sense is attested from 19 …   Etymology dictionary

  • receive — is a key word supporting the rule of spelling ‘i before e except after c’. See i before e …   Modern English usage

  • receive — ► VERB 1) be given, presented with, or paid. 2) accept or take delivery of. 3) chiefly Brit. buy or accept (goods known to be stolen). 4) form (an idea or impression) from an experience. 5) detect or pick up (broadcast signals). 6) (in tennis and …   English terms dictionary

  • receive — re|ceive W1S1 [rıˈsi:v] v [T] ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(be given something)¦ 2¦(be sent something)¦ 3¦(treatment)¦ 4¦(reaction to something)¦ 5 be on/at the receiving end (of something) 6 receive an injury/blow 7¦(people)¦ 8¦(by radio)¦ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ [Date …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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