Word of the Day : June 8, 2011


verb rih-SIP-ruh-kayt


1 : to move backward and forward alternately

2 : to give and take mutually

3 : to make a return for something done or given

Did You Know?

"Reciprocate," "retaliate," "requite," and "return" all 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 ("We reciprocated their hospitality by offering to let them stay for a week"). "Retaliate" usually implies a paying back of an injury or offense in exact kind, often vengefully ("She retaliated by spreading equally nasty rumors about them"). "Requite" implies a paying back according to one's preference, and often not in an equivalent fashion ("He requited her love with cold indifference"). "Return" implies simply a paying or giving back ("returned their call" or "return good for evil").


It was kind of Jake to give us a ride to the airport, and we’d like to find a way to reciprocate the favor.

"Reese Witherspoon invited Prince William and Kate Middleton to her wedding -- but they didn't reciprocate." -- From an article by Lindsay Powers in The Hollywood Reporter, April 19, 2011

Test Your Memory

What word completes this sentence from a recent Word of the Day piece: "A certified laboratory will __________ the samples of gold and silver to determine their levels of purity"? The answer is ...


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