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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web And rather than relatability and superstardom, those are the values that Lopez needs to reconcile. Todd Gilchrist, Variety, 16 Feb. 2024 How are you supposed to reconcile those two observances? Karen Garcia, Los Angeles Times, 14 Feb. 2024 Guerra and Colt eventually reconciled, and addressed their distance from Debbie on 90 Day: The Single Life's season 3 tell-all in 2022. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 13 Feb. 2024 MarTech Sprawl This is the year to reconcile the marketing stack, the data within it and its ecosystem interdependencies. Jennifer Chase, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 Such stark, static features were hard to reconcile with the presence of a tidally heated ocean overlain by a thin, ever changing icy shell. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, 7 Feb. 2024 The company already uses AI to do some of this data extraction and to automate some of accounting tasks, such as trying to reconcile numbers in financial accounts, with the sales receipts from cash registers. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 1 Feb. 2024 There are complicated ideas that the structure lets Genius: MLK/X begin to reconcile, plus the writers are able to extend the structure to Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz as well. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 31 Jan. 2024 Mutsuko added that the series allowed the two to reconcile with their past fighting and build a better relationship moving forward. Madeleine Janz, Peoplemag, 1 Feb. 2024 See More

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

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near reconcile

Cite this Entry

“Reconcile.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/reconcile. Accessed 27 Feb. 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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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