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From Latin recīprocō (to move back and forth), possibly from a phrase such as reque proque (back and forth), from re- (back), prō (forwards) and -que (and). Compare reciprocal.


  • IPA(key): /ɹɪˈsɪpɹəˌkeɪt/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: re‧ci‧pro‧cate


reciprocate (third-person singular simple present reciprocates, present participle reciprocating, simple past and past participle reciprocated)

  1. (transitive) To exchange two things, with both parties giving one thing and taking another thing.
  2. (transitive) To give something else in response (where the "thing" may also be abstract, a feeling or action) To make a reciprocal gift.
    I gave them apples from my tree; they reciprocated with a pie and some apple jelly.
    2019, Con Man Games; SmashGames, quoting Nugget, Kindergarten 2, SmashGames:
    Nugget appreciates the generosity! Nugget will reciprocate with a Monstermon card!
  3. (intransitive) To move backwards and forwards, like a piston.
    • 1697, Virgil, “The Fourth Book of the Georgics”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432:
      One brawny smith the puffing bellows plies, / And draws and blows reciprocating air.
  4. (intransitive) To counter, retort or retaliate.



Etymology 1[edit]



  1. inflection of reciprocare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative

Etymology 2[edit]


reciprocate f pl

  1. feminine plural of reciprocato