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
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