from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To give or take mutually; interchange.
  • transitive v. To show, feel, or give in response or return.
  • intransitive v. To move back and forth alternately.
  • intransitive v. To give and take something mutually.
  • intransitive v. To make a return for something given or done.
  • intransitive v. To be complementary or equivalent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To mutually give and take something; to interchange.
  • v. To give something in response.
  • v. To move backwards and forwards, like a piston.
  • v. To counter, retort or retaliate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To move forward and backward alternately; to recur in vicissitude; to act interchangeably; to alternate.
  • transitive v. To give and return mutually; to make return for; to give in return; to interchange; to alternate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To cause to move back and forth; give an alternating motion to.
  • To give and return mutually; yield or perform each to each; interchange: as, to reciprocate favors.
  • To give or do in response; yield a return of; requite correspondingly.
  • To move backward and forward; have an alternating movement; act interchangeably; alternate.
  • To act in return or response; do something equivalent or accordant: as, I did him many favors, but he did not reciprocate.
  • In mathematics, to take the reciprocal of.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. act, feel, or give mutually or in return
  • v. alternate the direction of motion of


Latin reciprocāre, reciprocāt-, to move back and forth, from reciprocus, alternating; see reciprocal.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin reciprocātus, past participle of reciprocāre ("to move back and forth"). (Wiktionary)


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  • To give something or do something in return

    July 8, 2014