reciprocal

adjective
re·​cip·​ro·​cal | \ ri-ˈsi-prə-kəl How to pronounce reciprocal (audio) \

Definition of reciprocal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : inversely related : opposite
b : 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 citizens
b : marked by or based on reciprocity reciprocal trade agreements

reciprocal

noun

Definition of reciprocal (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from reciprocal

Adjective

reciprocally \ ri-​ˈsi-​prə-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce reciprocally (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for reciprocal

Synonyms: Adjective

complementary, correlative, supplemental, supplementary

Antonyms: Adjective

noncomplementary, nonreciprocal

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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.

Examples of reciprocal in a Sentence

Adjective

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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Sprint offers two-way roaming agreements with many of those companies, while T-Mobile’s contracts allow its customers to roam on other companies’ rural networks without reciprocal arrangements. Drew Fitzgerald, WSJ, "T-Mobile’s Sprint Takeover Comes Under New Attack," 13 Feb. 2019 Fashion and Hollywood have long had a reciprocal relationship, but this shoot—conducted in New York over two days shortly before Christmas in what Ghesquière described as a tour de force of logistics—makes the synergies explicit. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Who Needs a Runway? Nicolas Ghesquière Hires an A-List Power Posse For His Louis Vuitton Pre-Fall Lookbook," 14 Jan. 2019 Most of the arrangements would depend on the U.K. taking reciprocal steps. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "Britain and EU Plan for Brexit Breakdown," 19 Dec. 2018 Experts say Pompeo will have to coax significant reciprocal steps from North Korea that would firmly lock the country into a process of disarmament to justify the suspension of the U.S.-South Korea war games. Washington Post, "Doubts on North Korean denuclearization shadow Pompeo visit," 2 July 2018 Japan’s auto makers would stand to gain if the U.S. and China imposed reciprocal car tariffs. Erica E. Phillips, WSJ, "Today’s Logistics Report: Shoppers Skip the Mall; Trade War Disrupts; Huawei Exports Blocked," 11 Jan. 2019 Someday soon, dealerships may form federations that allow reciprocal subscriptions across the country. Christopher Elliott, USA TODAY, "Car subscriptions could be boon for travelers," 1 July 2018 And for couples like Ashleigh and Bliss, the opportunity that reciprocal effortless IVF offers is priceless. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "These Two Women Both ‘Carried’ Their Baby Using Reciprocal Effortless IVF," 16 Nov. 2018 But North Korea still prefers a step-by-step disarmament process with reciprocal concessions and benefits from the United States for each of the North’s denuclearization steps. Washington Post, "Nuclear talks: What US and North Korea want from each other," 7 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reciprocal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of reciprocal

Adjective

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for reciprocal

Adjective

Latin reciprocus returning the same way, alternating

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Last Updated

2 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for reciprocal

The first known use of reciprocal was in 1570

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More Definitions for reciprocal

reciprocal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of reciprocal

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

noun
re·​cip·​ro·​cal | \ ri-ˈsi-prə-kəl How to pronounce reciprocal (audio) \

Kids Definition of reciprocal

: one of a pair of numbers (as 9 and ¹/₉, ²/₃ and ³/₂) whose product is one

reciprocal

adjective
re·​cip·​ro·​cal | \ ri-ˈsip-rə-kəl How to pronounce reciprocal (audio) \

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

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reciprocal

adjective
re·​cip·​ro·​cal | \ ri-ˈsi-prə-kəl How to pronounce reciprocal (audio) \

Legal Definition of reciprocal

b : bilateral a reciprocal contract
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 landIngham 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

Other Words from reciprocal

reciprocally adverb

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Comments on reciprocal

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