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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.