reciprocate

verb
re·cip·ro·cate | \ ri-ˈsi-prə-ˌkāt \
reciprocated; reciprocating

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

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Other words from reciprocate

reciprocator \ri-ˈsi-prə-ˌkā-tər \ noun

Synonyms for reciprocate

Synonyms

recompense, repay, requite

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of reciprocate in a Sentence

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 When he entered the room … Agnes was conscious of a latent feeling which secretly reciprocated Henry's unconcealed pleasure on meeting her again. —Wilkie Collins, The Haunted Hotel, 1878 Thus expressing himself, the little lawyer gave Mr. Winkle a poke in the chest, which that gentleman reciprocated; after which they both laughed very loudly … —Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1837 They appreciated her kindness but were not ready to reciprocate the gesture. reciprocated the favor by driving their neighbor to the airport
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Recent Examples on the Web

Ibrahimovic's Sweden and Beckham's England are going head-to-head Saturday, and the former extended a wager for the latter via Instagram–which was reciprocated in kind. Avi Creditor, SI.com, "David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic Put Wager on Sweden-England World Cup Match," 6 July 2018 For its part, China’s leadership sees benefits in reciprocating Tokyo’s outreach. Peter Landers, WSJ, "Strange Bedfellows: Trump Trade Fight Brings Japan and China Together," 18 June 2018 Humans and other primates often reciprocate good deeds. Christopher Intagliata, Scientific American, "Mongooses Gift Grooming for Guard Duty," 1 June 2018 Developing countries did not have to reciprocate the cuts in manufacturing tariffs that America and the European powers negotiated with each other in successive rounds of post-war trade talks. The Economist, "Donald Trump insists on trade reciprocity. But what kind?," 12 July 2018 McDaniels has expressed interest in Kentucky in the past, but as of yet the UK staff has yet to reciprocate. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "5 recruits who might earn a Kentucky basketball offer in July," 11 July 2018 Now Fox did not reciprocate that, when the media, when Trump launched a war on the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Pod Save America’s Dan Pfeiffer on Recode Media," 2 July 2018 On June 28, President Kiir issued a decree directing the army to abide by the cease-fire from June 30, an order reciprocated by Machar. Okech Francis, Bloomberg.com, "South Sudan Fighting After Cease-Fire Leaves at Least 15 Dead," 30 June 2018 The celebration was brief, as the Taliban did not reciprocate our decision to extend the unilateral cease-fire for 10 more days. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Crowley going down spotlights the looming Democratic identity crisis," 27 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reciprocate.' 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 reciprocate

1607, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for reciprocate

see reciprocal entry 1

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Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for reciprocate

The first known use of reciprocate was in 1607

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More Definitions for reciprocate

reciprocate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of reciprocate

: 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

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