reconcile

verb

rec·​on·​cile ˈre-kən-ˌsī(-ə)l How to pronounce reconcile (audio)
reconciled; reconciling

transitive verb

1
a
: to restore to friendship or harmony
reconciled the factions
b
: settle, resolve
reconcile differences
2
: to make consistent or congruous
reconcile an ideal with reality
3
: to cause to submit to or accept something unpleasant
was reconciled to hardship
4
a
: to check (a financial account) against another for accuracy
b
: to account for
reconcilability noun
reconcilable
ˌre-kən-ˈsī-lə-bəl How to pronounce reconcile (audio)
ˈre-kən-ˌsī-
adjective
reconcilement noun
reconciler noun

Did you know?

When faced with a kerfuffle, dustup, or other flavor of fracas, a conciliatory gesture or tone of voice—one intended to gain goodwill or to reduce hostility—can go a long way toward reconciling the squabbling parties. This makes not only common but etymological sense—both conciliatory and reconcile trace back to the Latin verb conciliare, meaning “to assemble, unite, or win over.” Reconcile can also be used when it’s facts, ideas, etc. that are being brought into agreement, and when financial accounts are checked against one another for accuracy. Reconcile is not all feel-good vibes, however. If you reconcile yourself to something unpleasant you come to accept it, as in “Even lexicographers must reconcile themselves to never knowing all the words.”

Choose the Right Synonym for 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.

businesses accommodating themselves to the new political reality

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

Examples of reconcile in a Sentence

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
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
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
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
It can be difficult to reconcile your ideals with reality. historians have never been able to reconcile the two eyewitness accounts of the battle
Recent Examples on the Web To reconcile the budget, some line items were adjusted, which resulted in $3 million in additional expenditures and $10.6 million in reductions. Matt Hubbard, Baltimore Sun, 13 June 2024 The pro golfer, who has been married to Stoll for seven years, appears to have reconciled with his wife, and the two filed for voluntary dismissal of their Florida divorce case on Tuesday, according to the Associated Press. Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times, 12 June 2024 The state-by-state patchwork of constitutional amendments, laws and regulations that determine where and how abortions are available across the country could take years to crystallize as old rules are reconciled with new ones in legislatures and courtrooms. Bram Sable-Smith | Kff Health News, ABC News, 6 June 2024 In March 2023, he was granted a dismissal after hinting that the couple had reconciled in December 2022. Njera Perkins, Peoplemag, 6 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for reconcile 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'reconcile.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of reconcile was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near reconcile

Cite this Entry

“Reconcile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reconcile. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

reconcile

verb
rec·​on·​cile ˈrek-ən-ˌsīl How to pronounce reconcile (audio)
reconciled; reconciling
1
: to make friendly again
reconcile friends who have quarreled
2
: to settle by agreement : adjust
reconcile differences
3
: to make agree
a story that cannot be reconciled with the facts
4
: to cause to give in or to accept : make content
reconciled myself to the loss
reconcilable
ˌrek-ən-ˈsī-lə-bəl How to pronounce reconcile (audio)
ˈrek-ən-ˌsīl-
adjective
reconcilement noun
reconciler noun
reconciliation
ˌrek-ən-ˌsil-ē-ˈā-shən
noun

Legal Definition

reconcile

verb
rec·​on·​cile ˈre-kən-ˌsīl How to pronounce reconcile (audio)
reconciled; reconciling

transitive verb

1
a
: to restore to harmony
reconciled the parties
reconciled the marriage
b
: to bring to resolution
reconcile differences
2
a
: to check (a financial account) against another for accuracy
b
: to account for

intransitive verb

: 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 noun
reconcilable adjective
reconcilement noun
reconciliation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on reconcile

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