What Is a Receptionist?

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A receptionist is a person who greets people, answers the telephone and performs other administrative duties for a company. Most customer-oriented businesses have a receptionist in the front office.

Receptionists are often employed at doctor's practices, government offices and universities. Their main duties are to greet clients, patients or students, make and confirm appointments, direct visitors to the proper location and answer the phone and route calls to the appropriate person.

The word receptionist originated around the year 1865. It is a compound word formed from the word reception, which means to receive, and the suffix ist, which means a person who practices something.

An example of a sentence using receptionist is: He is the receptionist at my doctor's office, and I must speak to him before I can see the doctor.