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verb, rec·on·cile \ˈre-kən-ˌsī(-ə)l\

Simple Definition of reconcile

  • : to find a way of making (two different ideas, facts, etc.) exist or be true at the same time

  • : to cause people or groups to become friendly again after an argument or disagreement

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of reconcile


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to restore to friendship or harmony <reconciled the factions> b :  settle, resolve <reconcile differences>

  3. 2 :  to make consistent or congruous <reconcile an ideal with reality>

  4. 3 :  to cause to submit to or accept something unpleasant <was reconciled to hardship>

  5. 4 a :  to check (a financial account) against another for accuracy b :  to account for

  6. intransitive verb
  7. :  to become reconciled

reconcilability play \ˌre-kən-ˌsī-lə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
reconcilable play \ˌre-kən-ˈsī-lə-bəl, ˈre-kən-ˌ\ adjective
reconcilement play \ˈre-kən-ˌsī(-ə)l-mənt\ noun
reconciler noun

Examples of reconcile in a sentence

  1. She and Eddie had separated and reconciled so many times the children had lost track of whose clothes were where. —John Grisham, The Chamber, 1995

  2. He thought they might reconcile the Parisians to his daring design by reminding them of the familiar arches of their bridges. —Mario Salvadori, Why Buildings Stand Up, 1990

  3. By exposing the comic-pathetic quality of the human condition, it temporarily reconciles us to that condition without creating in us complacence, lethargy, or any negative emotion. —Clifton Fadiman, Center Magazine, January-February 1971

  4. It is a function of architecture to reconcile technology with human cussedness, to make the mechanics of life endurable … —Russell Lynes, Harper's, October 1968

  5. It can be difficult to reconcile your ideals with reality.

  6. <historians have never been able to reconcile the two eyewitness accounts of the battle>

Origin of reconcile

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French reconciler, from Latin reconciliare, from re- + conciliare to conciliate

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of reconcile

adapt, adjust, accommodate, conform, reconcile mean to bring one thing into correspondence with another. adapt implies a modification according to changing circumstances <adapted themselves to the warmer climate>. adjust suggests bringing into a close and exact correspondence or harmony such as exists between parts of a mechanism <adjusted the budget to allow for inflation>. accommodate may suggest yielding or compromising to effect a correspondence <accommodated his political beliefs in order to win>. conform applies to bringing into accordance with a pattern, example, or principle <refused to conform to society's values>. reconcile implies the demonstration of the underlying compatibility of things that seem to be incompatible <tried to reconcile what he said with what I knew>.

RECONCILE Defined for Kids


verb rec·on·cile \ˈre-kən-ˌsīl\

Definition of reconcile for Students


  1. 1 :  to make friendly again <She helped to reconcile friends who had been quarreling.>

  2. 2 :  to settle by agreement :  adjust <You'll have to reconcile your differences.>

  3. 3 :  to make agree <His story cannot be reconciled with the facts.>

  4. 4 :  to cause to give in or accept <I reconciled myself to the loss.>

Law Dictionary


verb rec·on·cile \ˈre-kən-ˌsīl\

Legal Definition of reconcile


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to restore to harmony <reconciled the parties> <reconciled the marriage> b :  to bring to resolution <reconcile differences>

  3. 2a :  to check (a financial account) against another for accuracy b :  to account for

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to become reconciled; specifically :  to voluntarily resume cohabitation as spouses prior to a divorce becoming final with the mutual intention of remaining together and reestablishing a harmonious relationship <denied the complaint for divorce because the parties had reconciled>

reconcilability \ˌre-kən-ˌsī-lə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ play noun
reconcilable \ˌre-kən-ˈsī-lə-bəl\ play adjective
reconcilement noun
reconciliation \ˌre-kən-ˌsi-lē-ˈā-shən\ play noun

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up reconcile? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the range of perception or understanding

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