reciprocate

verb
re·​cip·​ro·​cate | \ ri-ˈsi-prə-ˌkāt How to pronounce reciprocate (audio) \
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 How to pronounce reciprocator (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for reciprocate

Synonyms

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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 If Canada agrees, the group hopes the United States will reciprocate. Jamie L. Lareau, USA TODAY, "She hasn't seen her Canadian boyfriend in months. They want the same border rights as married couples.," 3 July 2020 If Canada agrees, the group hopes the United States will reciprocate. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "These couples want the same right as married couples when crossing the border," 2 July 2020 If attached, you are adored by your partner and must reciprocate. BostonGlobe.com, "Horoscope," 15 June 2020 His generosity touched hearts, moving others to reciprocate. David Clark Scott, The Christian Science Monitor, "Monday Sunrise Briefing: Bigger protests, fewer arrests," 8 June 2020 Eve’s obsession with her target morphs into an infatuation reciprocated by Villanelle. Lane Florsheim, WSJ, "How the Minds Behind ‘Killing Eve’ Leveled Up Season 3," 13 Apr. 2020 The distrust is reciprocated by Qatar, where officials have spoken of possibly reconciling with Saudi Arabia but not the Emirates, effectively splitting their alliance. New York Times, "With U.S. Help No Longer Assured, Saudis Try a New Strategy: Talks," 26 Dec. 2019 Oregon recently reciprocated with a temporary rule to allow barbed hooks through November. oregonlive.com, "Monroe: Sailors hit Willamette River to battle sturgeon with Fleet Week in full swing," 8 June 2019 Making silicon refuse to reciprocate Creating this sort of device is exactly what the researchers have achieved, though in rather artificial circumstances. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Single-chip lidar routing is in our tiny future," 29 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for reciprocate

Time Traveler

The first known use of reciprocate was in 1607

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Statistics for reciprocate

Last Updated

11 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reciprocate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reciprocate. Accessed 13 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for reciprocate

reciprocate

verb
How to pronounce reciprocate (audio)

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
technical : to move back and forth again and again

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