[ res-uh-pros-i-tee ]
/ ˌrɛs əˈprɒs ɪ ti /
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a reciprocal state or relation.
reciprocation; mutual exchange.
the relation or policy in commercial dealings between countries by which corresponding advantages or privileges are granted by each country to the citizens of the other.
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Origin of reciprocity

1760–70; <Latin reciproc(us) (see reciprocal) + -ity

OTHER WORDS FROM reciprocity

non·rec·i·proc·i·ty, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does reciprocity mean?

Reciprocity is a relation or state in which two people or groups perform mutual or corresponding actions based on the actions of the other.

The related verb reciprocate means to do something in response to an action in a way that corresponds or is somehow equivalent to that action. Such actions or relations can be described as reciprocal. The word reciprocation refers to an act of reciprocating—or a specific instance of it—and can be used as a synonym for reciprocity in some cases.

Reciprocity often refers to a mutual exchange. Between people, this can be an exchange of things like effort or affection. But the word is especially used to refer to a reciprocal relationship between two countries involving mutual policies or aid. Two countries that engage in reciprocity may extend certain advantages or privileges to each other’s citizens, or may require certain obligations required by the other country, such as document fees.

Example: Most diplomatic relations are based on reciprocity.

Where does reciprocity come from?

The first records of the word reciprocity come from the mid-1700s. It comes from the Latin reciprocus, meaning “alternating” or “reciprocal.”

Reciprocity is most commonly associated with relationships between countries involving mutual benefits or policies that apply to the citizens of both. It’s also a less common way to say reciprocation—the act of matching what’s given, especially in personal relationships. In all senses of the word, the thing being reciprocated can be either positive or negative.

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What are some other forms related to reciprocity

What are some synonyms for reciprocity?

What are some words that share a root or word element with reciprocity

What are some words that often get used in discussing reciprocity?

How is reciprocity used in real life?

Reciprocity is a somewhat formal word. Acts of reciprocity can be either positive or negative.



Try using reciprocity!

True or False? 

Reciprocity is only used in the context of personal relationships.

How to use reciprocity in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for reciprocity

/ (ˌrɛsɪˈprɒsɪtɪ) /

noun plural -ities
reciprocal action or relation
a mutual exchange of commercial or other privileges

Word Origin for reciprocity

C18: via French from Latin 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