reciprocal

[ ri-sip-ruh-kuh l ]
/ rɪˈsɪp rə kəl /

adjective

noun

something that is reciprocal to something else; equivalent; counterpart; complement.
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.

Origin of reciprocal

1560–70; < Latin reciproc(us) returning, reciprocal + -al1

OTHER WORDS FROM reciprocal

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH reciprocal

mutual reciprocal (see synonym study at mutual)common mutual reciprocal (see usage note at mutual)

synonym study for reciprocal

1. See mutual.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reciprocal

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.