Dictionary

reciprocate

verb re·cip·ro·cate \ri-ˈsi-prə-ˌkāt\

: to do (something) for or to someone who has done something similar for or to you

: to have (a feeling) for someone who has the same feeling for you

: to move back and forth again and again

re·cip·ro·cat·edre·cip·ro·cat·ing

Full Definition of RECIPROCATE

transitive verb
1
:  to give and take mutually
2
:  to return in kind or degree <reciprocate a compliment gracefully>
intransitive verb
1
:  to make a return for something <we hope to reciprocate for your kindness>
2
:  to move forward and backward alternately <a reciprocating valve>
re·cip·ro·ca·tor \-ˌkā-tər\ noun

Examples of RECIPROCATE

  1. They appreciated her kindness but were not ready to reciprocate the gesture.
  2. <reciprocated the favor by driving their neighbor to the airport>
  3. Individuals who have received a dedication … are expected to reciprocate with a gift, perhaps placing a few folded notes of money into the hat when they give it back. —A. L. Kennedy, On Bullfighting, 1999

Origin of RECIPROCATE

(see 1reciprocal)
First Known Use: 1607

Synonym Discussion of RECIPROCATE

reciprocate, retaliate, requite, return mean to give back usually in kind or in quantity. reciprocate implies a mutual or equivalent exchange or a paying back of what one has received <reciprocated their hospitality by inviting them for a visit>. retaliate usually implies a paying back of injury in exact kind, often vengefully <the enemy retaliated by executing their prisoners>. requite implies a paying back according to one's preference and often not equivalently <requited her love with cold indifference>. return implies a paying or giving back <returned their call> <return good for evil>.

Rhymes with RECIPROCATE

abbreviate, abominate, accelerate, accentuate, accommodate, acculturate, accumulate, adjudicate, adulterate, affiliate, agglomerate, alienate, alleviate, alliterate, amalgamate, ameliorate, amyl nitrate, annihilate, annunciate, anticipate, apostolate, appreciate, appropriate, approximate, arpeggiate, articulate, asphyxiate, assassinate, asseverate, assimilate, associate, at any rate, attenuate, authenticate, barbiturate, bicarbonate, calumniate, capacitate, capitulate, catholicate, certificate, coagulate, coelenterate, collaborate, commemorate, commiserate, communicate, compassionate, concatenate, conciliate, confabulate, confederate, conglomerate, congratulate, consolidate, contaminate, cooperate, coordinate, corroborate, deactivate, debilitate, decapitate, decelerate, decerebrate, deconcentrate, deconsecrate, decorticate, decrepitate, de-escalate, defibrinate, defoliate, degenerate, deliberate, delineate, demodulate, denominate, depopulate, depreciate, deracinate, deregulate, desegregate, desiderate, detoxicate, devaluate, diaconate, dilapidate, discriminate, disintegrate, disseminate, dissimulate, dissociate, domesticate, effectuate, ejaculate, elaborate, electroplate, eliminate, elucidate, emaciate, emancipate, emasculate, encapsulate, enumerate, enunciate, episcopate, equivocate, eradicate, etiolate, evacuate, evaluate, evaporate, eventuate, eviscerate, exacerbate, exaggerate, exasperate, excited state, excogitate, excoriate, exfoliate, exhilarate, exonerate, expatiate, expatriate, expectorate, expostulate, expropriate, extenuate, exterminate, extrapolate, facilitate, felicitate, fish or cut bait, garrison state, gesticulate, habilitate, habituate, hallucinate, humiliate, hydrogenate, hypothecate, illuminate, impersonate, inactivate, inaugurate, incarcerate, incinerate, incorporate, incriminate, indoctrinate, inebriate, infatuate, infuriate, ingratiate, ingurgitate, initiate, inoculate, inseminate, insinuate, instantiate, intercalate, interpolate, interrelate, interrogate, intimidate, intoxicate, invalidate, investigate, invigorate, irradiate, Italianate, Korea Strait, lanceolate, legitimate, luxuriate, mandarinate, manipulate, matriarchate, matriculate, Merthiolate, necessitate, negotiate, noncandidate, obliterate, officiate, Orange Free State, orientate, originate, oxygenate, participate, particulate, patriarchate, patriciate, perambulate, peregrinate, perpetuate, pontificate, precipitate, predestinate, predominate, prefabricate, premeditate, preponderate, prevaricate, procrastinate, prognosticate, proliferate, propitiate, proportionate, quadruplicate, quintuplicate, recriminate, recuperate, redecorate, reduplicate, reeducate, refrigerate, regenerate, regurgitate, reincarnate, reintegrate, reiterate, rejuvenate, remunerate, repatriate, repudiate, resuscitate, retaliate, reticulate, revaluate, reverberate, scholasticate, second estate, self-flagellate, self-immolate, self-pollinate, seventy-eight, sextuplicate, Singapore Strait, sophisticate, subordinate, substantiate, syllabicate, tergiversate, transliterate, triangulate, vanity plate, variegate, vaticinate, vituperate, vociferate

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: reciprocating conveyorPrevious Word in the Dictionary: reciprocal willsAll Words Near: reciprocate
April 25, 2015
lissome Hear it
nimble or easily flexed
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears