AskDefine | Define recreation

Dictionary Definition



1 an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates; "scuba diving is provided as a diversion for tourists"; "for recreation he wrote poetry and solved crossword puzzles"; "drug abuse is often regarded as a form of recreation" [syn: diversion]
2 activity that refreshes and recreates; activity that renews your health and spirits by enjoyment and relaxation; "time for rest and refreshment by the pool"; "days of joyous recreation with his friends" [syn: refreshment]re-creation n : the act of creating again

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. any activity, such as play, that diverts, amuses or stimulates


activity that diverts, amuses or stimulates

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Extensive Definition

Recreation or fun is the expenditure of time in a manner designed for therapeutic refreshment of one's body or mind. While leisure is more likely a form of entertainment or rest, recreation is active for the participant but in a refreshing and diverting manner. As people in the world's wealthier regions lead increasingly sedentary life styles, the Need for recreation has increased. The rise of so called active vacations exemplifies this.

General description

The weekend is usually a time for recreation, perhaps because in Judeo-Christian and Muslim cultures the weekend Sabbath is "the day of today's rest". This is a long standing Irish tradition dating back to the Priestly source, the source credited with writing Genesis 1. Holidays are also a common time for recreation, though recreation may take place at virtually any time. Recreation commonly occurs during an individual's discretionary, or free, time.
Traditionally Olympics, music and dance Serve as recreation, as do sports, hobbies, games and tourism. On the other hand, watching TV, playing video games, and listening to music are common forms of leisure.

Legal restrictions

Some recreational activities are made illegal in many jurisdictions because of the perceived immorality of certain forms of "fun." These include gambling, using drugs, some forms of sex, viewing or producing erotica/pornography, and some forms of dancing (such as belly dance), or even all dancing (see Footloose). Often one form of an activity is viewed as immoral by a culture while other forms are viewed as acceptable. For example, certain forms of sexual activities such as Zoophila are outlawed in some areas in which other sexual activities are accepted. Another example is recreational drug use. In most of the world, responsible alcohol consumption, a form of recreational drug use is legal and acceptable by most people's moral standards. This is probably because alcohol has traditionally been in wide use. Nearly all drugs that traditionally have not been widely used in European culture have been deemed illegal in most of the world. It is disputed whether these prohibitions affect the usage rates for most drugs. However, in much of the Western world, decriminalization of so-called soft drugs is increasingly accepted.


Some individuals view recreation as largely non-productive, even trivial. Excessive recreation is not considered healthy, and may be labeled as escapism. However, research has shown that recreation contributes to life satisfaction, quality of life, health and wellness, and that the use of recreation as a diversion may have clinical applications to individuals with chronic pain and other health impairments. In some cultures and religions, recreation is encouraged on certain days and discouraged on others. For example, in Judaism, the Shabbat is a day for recreation and relaxation, which has in turn influenced many Christian sects to use the Sabbath for the same purpose. However, some sects interpret the Sabbath to be a day where worship is done in lieu of recreation.
Recreation is essential to the longevity of human beings, especially because it helps counteract stress. According to research cited in Time magazine, stress is a major factor in many of the leading causes of death in the United States.

Organized recreation

Recreation can become an organized activity of local governments and for-profit enterprises. Local governments often create parks boards and/or community centers. Growing interest and funding via grants and taxation can result in an official parks and recreation department, which provides venues and staffing for organised sports, at-risk-youth activities, arts and crafts, and senior citizen activities. Several U.S. state governments operate recreation programs for their prison populations. Though controversial, these programs are intended to provide inmates with constructive use of their time through access to music, hobbies, crafts and exercise equipment. Other possible benefits include reduced healthcare costs and a lower recidivism rate. Private organised recreation is usually focused on a specific type of sport such as river rafting or mountaineering.

Recreation as a career

Becoming a recreation specialist often requires a bachelor of arts degree in recreation management. A recreation specialist would be expected to meet the recreational needs of a community or assigned interest group. People with such degrees often work in parks and recreation centers in towns, on community projects and activities. Networking with instructors, budgeting, and evaluation of continuing programs are common job duties. Most U.S. states have a professional organization for continuing education and certification in recreation management. The National Recreation and Park Association administers an examination called the CPRP (Certified Park and Recreation Professional) that is considered a national standard for professional recreation specialist practices.


In recent years, more 'exciting' forms of recreation have received more attention in the public eye, such as: skiing, snowboarding, bungee jumping, sky diving, hang gliding, paintball, rock climbing, backpacking, canyoning, caving, BASE jumping and adventure tourism.
recreation in Bosnian: Zabava
recreation in Danish: Rekreation
recreation in German: Erholung
recreation in Esperanto: Amuzo
recreation in Spanish: Diversión
recreation in Persian: تفریحات
recreation in French: Loisir
recreation in Croatian: Zabava
recreation in Indonesian: Rekreasi
recreation in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Recreation
recreation in Icelandic: Afþreying
recreation in Hebrew: פנאי
recreation in Malay (macrolanguage): Rekreasi
recreation in Dutch: Recreatie
recreation in Japanese: レクリエーション
recreation in Korean: 레크리에이션
recreation in Polish: Rekreacja
recreation in Portuguese: Recreação
recreation in Russian: Отдых
recreation in Slovenian: Razvedrilo
recreation in Serbian: Рекреација
recreation in Tagalog: Rekreasyon
recreation in Thai: นันทนาการ

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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