The word recreation is a noun meaning just about anything you do for fun: bowling, flying a model airplane, or just swimming the English Channel. If you do it to relax, recharge your batteries, or just to amuse yourself, it's probably recreation.

You might think by looking at the word that recreation means remaking something, and, in a sense you'd be right. A person involved in recreation is "re-creating" themselves. The whole point of recreation, as the original Latin word recreare implies, is to refresh and renew. After a week behind a desk, you might be feeling worn down and tired. A weekend of recreation will help bring you back to life. So get out there and do the things you love to do!

Definitions of recreation

n an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates

“for recreation he wrote poetry and solved crossword puzzles”
“drug abuse is often regarded as a form of recreation
show 102 types...
hide 102 types...
antic, caper, joke, prank, put-on, trick
a ludicrous or grotesque act done for fun and amusement
immersing the body in water or sunshine
celebration, festivity
any joyous diversion
dance, dancing, saltation, terpsichore
taking a series of rhythmical steps (and movements) in time to music
amusement, entertainment
an activity that is diverting and that holds the attention
escapade, lark
any carefree episode
escape, escapism
an inclination to retreat from unpleasant realities through diversion or fantasy
eurhythmics, eurhythmy, eurythmics, eurythmy
the interpretation in harmonious bodily movements of the rhythm of musical compositions; used to teach musical understanding
fun, merriment, playfulness
activities that are enjoyable or amusing
gambling, gaming, play
the act of playing for stakes in the hope of winning (including the payment of a price for a chance to win a prize)
an amusement or pastime
jest, jocularity, joke
activity characterized by good humor
night life, nightlife
the activity of people seeking nighttime diversion (as at the theater, a nightclub, etc.)
interest, pastime, pursuit
a diversion that occupies one's time and thoughts (usually pleasantly)
child's play, play
activity by children that is guided more by imagination than by fixed rules
caper, frolic, gambol, play, romp
gay or light-hearted recreational activity for diversion or amusement
athletics, sport
an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition
a festivity in ancient Greece at which competitors contended for prizes
funambulism, tightrope walking
walking on a tightrope or slack rope
rock climbing
the sport or pastime of scaling rock masses on mountain sides (especially with the help of ropes and special equipment)
play in which children take the roles of father or mother or children and pretend to interact like adults
children take the roles of physician or patient or nurse and pretend they are at the physician's office
play in which children pretend to put out a fire
avocation, by-line, hobby, pursuit, sideline, spare-time activity
an auxiliary activity
contact sport
a sport that necessarily involves body contact between opposing players
field sport, outdoor sport
a sport that is played outdoors
gymnastic exercise, gymnastics
a sport that involves exercises intended to display strength and balance and agility
track and field
participating in athletic sports performed on a running track or on the field associated with it
a sport in which participants must travel on skis
aquatics, water sport
sports that involve bodies of water
sea bathing
bathing in the sea or ocean
sun bathing
immersing the body in sunlight
row, rowing
the act of rowing as a sport
the sport of shooting arrows with a bow
the sport of riding on a sled or sleigh
the sport of gliding on skates
the sport of engaging in contests of speed
equitation, horseback riding, riding
the sport of siting on the back of a horse while controlling its movements
the sport of traveling on a bicycle or motorcycle
blood sport
sport that involves killing animals (especially hunting)
a cooperative game in which a ball is passed back and forth
party game
a game to amuse guests at a party
computer game, video game
a game played against a computer
pinball, pinball game
a game played on a sloping board; the object is to propel marbles against pins or into pockets
guessing game
a game in which participants compete to identify some obscurely indicated thing
ducks and drakes
a game in which a flat stone is bounced along the surface of calm water
mind game
any game designed to exercise the intellect
hare and hounds, paper chase
an outdoor game; one group of players (the hares) start off on a long run scattering bits of paper (the scent) and pursuers (the hounds) try to catch them before they reach a designated spot
ring-a-rosy, ring-around-a-rosy, ring-around-the-rosy
a children's game in which the players dance around in a circle and at a given signal all squat
prisoner's base
a children's game; two teams capture opposing players by tagging them and taking them to their own base
treasure hunt
a game in which players try to find hidden articles by using a series of clues
athletic game
a game involving athletic activity
sporting life
active interest in gambling on sports events
bet, wager
the act of gambling
gambling game, game of chance
a game that involves gambling
conviviality, jollification, merrymaking
a boisterous celebration; a merry festivity
a sexual escapade; an illicit affair
coquetry, dalliance, flirt, flirtation, flirting, toying
playful behavior intended to arouse sexual interest
craziness, folly, foolery, indulgence, lunacy, tomfoolery
foolish or senseless behavior
frivolous or trifling behavior
rowdy or boisterous play
playful vexation
word play
playing on words or speech sounds
dirty trick
an unkind or aggressive trick
practical joke
a prank or trick played on a person (especially one intended to make the victim appear foolish)
drollery, waggery
a quaint and amusing jest
leg-pull, leg-pulling
as a joke: trying to make somebody believe something that is not true
an agreeable or amusing remark
beguilement, distraction
an entertainment that provokes pleased interest and distracts you from worries and vexations
entertainment that is intended to be educational
any lavishly staged or spectacular entertainment
entertainment with military themes in which the Department of Defense is celebrated
night life, nightlife
the entertainment available to people seeking nighttime diversion
(in Spanish speaking regions) a local festival or fair, usually in honor of some patron saint
festival, fete
an organized series of acts and performances (usually in one place)
blowout, gala, gala affair, jamboree
a gay festivity
Ludi Saeculares, secular games
the centennial rites and games of ancient Rome that marked the commencement of a new generation (100 years representing the longest life in a generation); observances may have begun as early as the 5th century BC and lasted well into the Christian era
victory celebration
a celebration following a victory in a battle or sports competition
the act of publicly exhibiting or entertaining
a slow section of a pas de deux requiring great skill and strength by the dancers
break dance, break dancing
a form of solo dancing that involves rapid acrobatic moves in which different parts of the body touch the ground; normally performed to the rhythm of rap music
a court dance of the 16th century; consisted of short advances and retreats
nauch, nautch, nautch dance
an intricate traditional dance in India performed by professional dancing girls
pavan, pavane
a stately court dance of the 16th and 17th centuries
dance movements that are linked in a single choreographic sequence
a stately court dance of the 17th and 18th centuries; in slow time
a rhythmic dance to reggae music performed by bending forward and extending the hands while bending the knees
slam dance, slam dancing
a form of dancing in which dancers slam into one another; normally performed to punk rock
hoofing, step dancing
dancing in which the steps are more important than gestures or postures
toe dance, toe dancing
a dance performed on tiptoe
choreography, stage dancing
a show involving artistic dancing
pas seul, variation
(ballet) a solo dance or dance figure
duet, pas de deux
(ballet) a dance for two people (usually a ballerina and a danseur noble)
pas de trois
(ballet) a dance for three people
pas de quatre
(ballet) a dance for four people
social dancing
dancing as part of a social occasion
a Latin American dance similar in rhythm to the rumba
ceremonial dance, ritual dance, ritual dancing
a dance that is part of a religious ritual
a sport adapted from jujitsu (using principles of not resisting) and similar to wrestling; developed in Japan
spectator sport
a sport that many people find entertaining to watch
team sport
a sport that involves competition between teams of players
casting an object in order to determine an outcome randomly
Type of:
any specific behavior

n activity that refreshes and recreates; activity that renews your health and spirits by enjoyment and relaxation

“days of joyous recreation with his friends”
Type of:
the act of restoring to a more youthful condition

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.