[ myoo-choo-uhl ]
/ ˈmyu tʃu əl /
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possessed, experienced, performed, etc., by each of two or more with respect to the other;reciprocal: to have mutual respect.
having the same relation each toward the other: to be mutual enemies.
of or relating to each of two or more; held in common; shared: mutual interests.
having or pertaining to a form of corporate organization in which there are no stockholders, and in which profits, losses, expenses, etc., are shared by members in proportion to the business each transacts with the company: a mutual company.See also mutual insurance.
Informal. a mutual fund.
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Origin of mutual
synonym study for mutual
1. Mutual, reciprocal agree in the idea of an exchange or balance between two or more persons or groups. Mutual indicates an exchange of a feeling, obligation, etc., between two or more people, or an interchange of some kind between persons or things: mutual esteem; in mutual agreement. Reciprocal indicates a relation in which one act, thing, feeling, etc., balances or is given in return for another: reciprocal promises or favors.
historical usage of mutual
The earliest (15th century) and still a current meaning of mutual is “reciprocal,” specifying the relation of two or more persons or things to each other: Their admiration is mutual. Teachers and students sometimes suffer from a mutual misunderstanding. Mutual soon developed the sense of “having in common, shared”: Their mutual objective is peace. This latter sense has been in use since the 16th century and is entirely standard. It is occasionally criticized, not on the grounds of ambiguity but on the grounds that the later sense development is somehow wrong. Mutual in the sense of “shared” may have been encouraged by the title of Charles Dickens's novel Our Mutual Friend (1864–65), but Dickens was not the innovator. The fact that common also has the sense “ordinary, unexceptional” and “coarse, vulgar” may have contributed to the use of mutual instead of common in designating a shared friend.
OTHER WORDS FROM mutual
mu·tu·al·ly, adverbnon·mu·tu·al, adjectivequa·si-mu·tu·al, adjectivetrans·mu·tu·al, adjective
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH mutualmutual , reciprocal (see synonym study at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
British Dictionary definitions for mutual
/ (ˈmjuːtʃʊəl) /
experienced or expressed by each of two or more people or groups about the other; reciprocalmutual distrust
common to or shared by both or all of two or more partiesa mutual friend; mutual interests
denoting an insurance company, etc, in which the policyholders share the profits and expenses and there are no shareholders
Derived forms of mutualmutuality (ˌmjuːtjʊˈælɪtɪ) or mutualness, nounmutually, adverb
Word Origin for mutual
C15: from Old French mutuel, from Latin mūtuus reciprocal (originally: borrowed); related to mūtāre to change
usage for mutual
The use of mutual to mean common to or shared by two or more parties was formerly considered incorrect, but is now acceptable. Tautologous use of mutual should be avoided: cooperation (not mutual cooperation) between the two countries
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