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[ri-sip-ruh-keyt] /rɪˈsɪp rəˌkeɪt/
verb (used with object), reciprocated, reciprocating.
to give, feel, etc., in return.
to give and receive reciprocally; interchange:
to reciprocate favors.
to cause to move alternately backward and forward.
verb (used without object), reciprocated, reciprocating.
to make a return, as for something given.
to make interchange.
to be correspondent.
to move alternately backward and forward.
Origin of reciprocate
1605-15; < Latin reciprocātus past participle of reciprocāre to move back and forth. See reciprocal, -ate1
Related forms
reciprocative, reciprocatory
[ri-sip-ruh-kuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /rɪˈsɪp rə kəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
reciprocator, noun
nonreciprocating, adjective
unreciprocated, adjective
unreciprocating, adjective
1. return, respond, retaliate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for reciprocating
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Steam-engines are of two kinds:— reciprocating, employing cylinders and cranks; rotary, called turbines.

    How it Works Archibald Williams
  • But her reciprocating mood of cheerfulness was quickly spent.

    The Coyote James Roberts
  • She was constantly receiving and reciprocating civilities in the most kind and friendly manner with the inhabitants of Washington.

    Alida Amelia Stratton Comfield
  • The reciprocating marine engine, however, had been steadily improved, until it was a marvel in efficiency.

  • The Boche on his part was reciprocating, so that the exchange of shots was mutual.

  • He was also careful to maintain the amenities of life, prompt in meeting and reciprocating all social obligations.

  • Rhoda had not the least idea of ever reciprocating Mr. Diamond's sentiments.

    A Charming Fellow, Volume II (of 3) Frances Eleanor Trollope
  • It was in vain to tell him that she was utterly incapable of reciprocating or even of understanding his wishes.

    Heart and Science Wilkie Collins
British Dictionary definitions for reciprocating


to give or feel in return
to move or cause to move backwards and forwards
(intransitive) to be correspondent or equivalent
Derived Forms
reciprocation, noun
reciprocative, reciprocatory, adjective
reciprocator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin reciprocāre, from reciprocusreciprocal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for reciprocating

"moving back and forth," 1690s, present participle adjective from reciprocate (v.). Specifically of machines by 1822.



"to return, requite," 1610s, back-formation from reciprocation, or else from Latin reciprocatus, past participle of reciprocare "rise and fall, move back and forth; reverse the motion of," from reciprocus (see reciprocal). Related: Reciprocated; reciprocating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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