Definition of reciprocal
1a : inversely related : oppositeb : of, constituting, or resulting from paired crosses in which the kind that supplies the male parent of the first cross supplies the female parent of the second cross and vice versa
2 : shared, felt, or shown by both sides
3 : serving to reciprocate : consisting of or functioning as a return in kind the reciprocal devastation of nuclear war
4a : mutually corresponding agreed to extend reciprocal privileges to each other's citizensb : marked by or based on reciprocity reciprocal trade agreements
reciprocallyplay \-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
Examples of reciprocal in a Sentence
the two nations agreed to give reciprocal work rights to each other's citizens, thus facilitating the daily border crossings of workers from both countries
Did You Know?
In Latin, reciprocus means "returning the same way" or "alternating". So in a reciprocating engine, like the one in your car, the pistons move back and forth, and that motion is transformed into the rotary motion of the crankshaft. A reciprocal is a pair of numbers (such as 5/6 and 6/5) that can be multiplied to produce 1. Reciprocity (with the accent on the third syllable) between two nations means they agree to recognize certain things granted in one country as being valid in the other—for example, your driver's license.
Origin and Etymology of reciprocal
Latin reciprocus returning the same way, alternating
First Known Use: 1570
Definition of reciprocal
1 : something in a reciprocal relationship to another
2 : either of a pair of numbers (such as 2⁄3 and 3⁄2 or 9 and 1⁄9) whose product is one; broadly : multiplicative inverse
First Known Use of reciprocal
RECIPROCAL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of reciprocal for English Language Learners
—used to describe a relationship in which two people or groups agree to do something similar for each other, to allow each other to have the same rights, etc.
RECIPROCAL Defined for Kids
Definition of reciprocal for Students
: one of a pair of numbers (as 9 and 1⁄9, 2⁄3 and 3⁄2) whose product is one
Medical Definition of reciprocal
1: inversely related
2: of, constituting, or resulting from paired crosses in which the kind that supplies the male parent of the first cross supplies the female parent of the second cross and vice versa
3: shared, felt, or shown by both sides
Legal Definition of reciprocal
2 : characterized by correspondence or equivalence especially in return or response with another of the same category an … agreement permitting the reciprocal use of each other's land — Ingham v. Block, 351 S.W.3d 96 (2011); also : marked by such correspondence or equivalence between its own components a reciprocal arrangement
3 : marked by reciprocity between states
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up reciprocal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).