Maintaining the correct impedance for a transmitting antenna is much more important than for a receiving antenna. Simple reason 1: avoidance of power turned directly to heat due to a mismatch. Simple reason 2: reflection of power back to the transmitting power amp that might cause the transistors to fail.
A quarter wave monopole can be made "short" and its impedance will look both capacitive and resistive: -
So, at a quarter wavelength the reactive impedance (magenta colour) is zero and the radiation resistance (blue) is about 37 ohms. If you shortened the antenna to 0.05 wavelengths, the radiation resistance is maybe an ohm or two in series with a capacitive reactance of 1000 ohms.
This makes it difficult to drive as a transmit antenna but still usable as a receive antenna. You can tune out the capacitance with an inductive reactance of 1000 ohms but you get a very tight bandwidth and this may not be suitable as a receive antenna. It all depends on what bandwidth the transmission has that you are interested in.
Alternatively, if the transmission you are trying to receive is a proper EM wave then you can make a loop receiver and just pick-off the magnetic part of the EM wave. If you look at long-wave radio receivers, they use a ferrite rod and loop antenna and this can be quite compact. It makes a useless transmit antenna but a very practical receive antenna.