from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To move forward and backward alternately; to recur in vicissitude; to act interchangeably; to alternate.
  • intransitive verb a steam, air, or gas engine, etc., in which the piston moves back and forth; -- in distinction from a rotary engine, in which the piston travels continuously in one direction in a circular path.
  • intransitive verb (Mech.) motion alternately backward and forward, or up and down, as of a piston rod.
  • transitive verb To give and return mutually; to make return for; to give in return; to interchange; to alternate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

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


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

[Latin reciprocāre, reciprocāt-, to move back and forth, from reciprocus, alternating; see reciprocal.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin reciprocātus, past participle of reciprocāre ("to move back and forth").


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  • To give something or do something in return

    July 8, 2014