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verb (used with object), re·cip·ro·cat·ed, re·cip·ro·cat·ing.
  1. to give, feel, etc., in return.
  2. to give and receive reciprocally; interchange: to reciprocate favors.
  3. to cause to move alternately backward and forward.
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verb (used without object), re·cip·ro·cat·ed, re·cip·ro·cat·ing.
  1. to make a return, as for something given.
  2. to make interchange.
  3. to be correspondent.
  4. to move alternately backward and forward.
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Origin of reciprocate

1605–15; < Latin reciprocātus past participle of reciprocāre to move back and forth. See reciprocal, -ate1
Related formsre·cip·ro·ca·tive, re·cip·ro·ca·to·ry [ri-sip-ruh-kuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /rɪˈsɪp rə kəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectivere·cip·ro·ca·tor, nounnon·re·cip·ro·cat·ing, adjectiveun·re·cip·ro·cat·ed, adjectiveun·re·cip·ro·cat·ing, adjective

Synonyms for reciprocate

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for reciprocates

retaliate, repay, respond, interchange, square, return, barter, render, retort, share, correspond, trade, swap, swing, requite, vacillate, reply, match, recompense

Examples from the Web for reciprocates

Historical Examples of reciprocates

  • And Madame, touched by her apparent weakness, more than reciprocates it.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 16, No. 96, October 1865


  • He reciprocates notice, of some kind or other, with all who notice him.

  • There is no love in the world that reciprocates like that of a garden.

    Over Paradise Ridge

    Maria Thompson Daviess

  • The middle also, in an universal demonstration, reciprocates with the major, being its definition.


    George Grote

  • The companions of the captor aid him, and he, in turn, reciprocates in similar undertakings.

British Dictionary definitions for reciprocates


  1. to give or feel in return
  2. to move or cause to move backwards and forwards
  3. (intr) to be correspondent or equivalent
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Derived Formsreciprocation, nounreciprocative or reciprocatory, adjectivereciprocator, noun

Word Origin for reciprocate

C17: from Latin reciprocāre, from reciprocus reciprocal
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

Word Origin and History for reciprocates



"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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper