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reciprocal

[ ri-sip-ruh-kuhl ]
/ rɪˈsɪp rə kəl /
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See synonyms for: reciprocal / reciprocals on Thesaurus.com

adjective
noun
something that is reciprocal to something else: Faith and fear are reciprocals.
Also called multiplicative inverse. Mathematics. the ratio of unity to a given quantity or expression; that by which the given quantity or expression is multiplied to produce unity: The reciprocal of x is 1/x.
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Origin of reciprocal

First recorded in 1560–70; from Latin reciproc(us) “returning, reciprocal” + -al1

synonym study for reciprocal

1. See mutual.

OTHER WORDS FROM reciprocal

re·cip·ro·cal·i·ty [ri-sip-ruh-kal i tee], /rɪˌsɪp rəˈkæl ɪ ti/, re·cip·ro·cal·ness, nounre·cip·ro·cal·ly, adverbnon·re·cip·ro·cal, adjective, nounun·re·cip·ro·cal, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH reciprocal

mutual, reciprocal (see synonym study at mutual)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use reciprocal in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for reciprocal

reciprocal
/ (rɪˈsɪprəkəl) /

adjective
noun
something that is reciprocal
Also called: inverse maths a number or quantity that when multiplied by a given number or quantity gives a product of onethe reciprocal of 2 is 0.5

Derived forms of reciprocal

reciprocality, nounreciprocally, adverb

Word Origin for reciprocal

C16: from Latin reciprocus alternating
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

Medical definitions for reciprocal

reciprocal
[ rĭ-sĭprə-kəl ]

adj.
Of or relating to a neuromuscular phenomenon in which the excitation of one group of muscles is accompanied by the inhibition of another.
Of or being a pair of crosses in which the male parent in one cross is of the same genotype or phenotype as the female parent in the other cross.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for reciprocal

reciprocal
[ rĭ-sĭprə-kəl ]

Either of a pair of numbers whose product is 1. For example, the number 3 is the reciprocal of 13.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for reciprocal

reciprocal

The number by which a given number must be multiplied to get a result of one. The reciprocal of one-half, for example, is two.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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