What does reciprocal mean?

Definitions for reciprocal
rɪˈsɪp rə kəlre·cip·ro·cal

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word reciprocal.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. reciprocalnoun

    something (a term or expression or concept) that has a reciprocal relation to something else

    "risk is the reciprocal of safety"

  2. multiplicative inverse, reciprocalnoun

    (mathematics) one of a pair of numbers whose product is 1: the reciprocal of 2/3 is 3/2; the multiplicative inverse of 7 is 1/7

  3. reciprocal cross, reciprocaladjective

    hybridization involving a pair of crosses that reverse the sexes associated with each genotype

  4. reciprocal, mutualadjective

    concerning each of two or more persons or things; especially given or done in return

    "reciprocal aid"; "reciprocal trade"; "mutual respect"; "reciprocal privileges at other clubs"

  5. reciprocaladjective

    of or relating to the multiplicative inverse of a quantity or function

    "the reciprocal ratio of a:b is b:a"


  1. reciprocalnoun

    Of a number, the number obtained by dividing 1 by the given number; the result of exchanging the numerator and the denominator of a fraction.

    0.5 is the reciprocal of 2.

  2. reciprocaladjective

    Of a feeling, action or such: mutual, uniformly felt or done by each party towards the other or others; two-way.

  3. reciprocaladjective

    Something that is contrary or opposite.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Reciprocaladjective

    recurring in vicissitude; alternate

  2. Reciprocaladjective

    done by each to the other; interchanging or interchanged; given and received; due from each to each; mutual; as, reciprocal love; reciprocal duties

  3. Reciprocaladjective

    mutually interchangeable

  4. Reciprocaladjective

    reflexive; -- applied to pronouns and verbs, but sometimes limited to such pronouns as express mutual action

  5. Reciprocaladjective

    used to denote different kinds of mutual relation; often with reference to the substitution of reciprocals for given quantities. See the Phrases below

  6. Reciprocalnoun

    that which is reciprocal to another thing

  7. Reciprocalnoun

    the quotient arising from dividing unity by any quantity; thus, / is the reciprocal of 4; 1/(a +b) is the reciprocal of a + b. The reciprocal of a fraction is the fraction inverted, or the denominator divided by the numerator


  1. Reciprocal

    A reciprocal is a linguistic structure that marks a particular kind of relationship between two noun phrases. In a reciprocal construction, each of the participants occupies both the role of agent and patient with respect to each other. For example, the English sentence "John and Mary cut each other's hair", contains a reciprocal structure: John cuts Mary's hair, and Mary cuts John's. Many languages, such as Turkic or Bantu languages, have special reciprocal morphemes in verbs. English does not, and it generally uses "each other" or some other phrase to indicate reciprocity. Latin uses inter and the reflexive pronoun of the subject of the verb: inter se when the verb is third-person. Most Indo-European languages do not have special markers for reciprocity on verbs, and reciprocal constructions are expressed through reflexivity or other mechanisms. For example, Russian marks reciprocity in intransitive verbs with the suffix -ся, which has also reflexive and passive interpretations.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Reciprocal

    rē-sip′rō-kal, adj. acting in return: mutual: alternating: interchangeable: giving and receiving.—n. that which is reciprocal: (math.) the quotient resulting from the division of unity by any given quantity.—n. Reciprocal′ity, the state or quality of being reciprocal: mutual return.—adv. Recip′rocally, mutually: interchangeably: inversely.—ns. Recip′rocalness; Recip′rocant (math.), a contravariant expressing a certain condition of tangency: a differential invariant.—adj. Recip′rocantive, relating to a reciprocant.—v.t. Recip′rocāte, to give and receive mutually: to requite: to interchange: to alternate.—v.i. to move backward and forward: (coll.) to make a return or response.—ns. Recip′rocating-en′gine, an engine in which the piston moves forward and backward in a straight line; Reciprocā′tion, interchange of acts: alternation.—adj. Recip′rocātive, acting reciprocally.—n. Reciproc′ity, mutual obligations: action and reaction: equality of commercial privileges.—adjs. Rec′iprock, Rec′iproque (Bacon), reciprocal; Recip′rocous (rare), turning back: reciprocal.—Reciprocal proportion is when, of four terms taken in order, the first has to the second the same ratio which the fourth has to the third; Reciprocal ratio, the ratio of the reciprocals of two quantities; Reciprocal terms, those that have the same signification and consequently are convertible; Reciprocating motion, by this the power is transmitted from one part of a machine to another. [L. reciprocus.]

The Standard Electrical Dictionary

  1. Reciprocal

    The reciprocal of a number is the quotient obtained by dividing one by the number. Thus the reciprocal of 8 is 1/8. Applied to fractions the above operation is carried out by simply inverting the fraction. Thus the reciprocal of 3/4 is 4/3 or 1-1/3.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce reciprocal?

How to say reciprocal in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of reciprocal in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of reciprocal in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of reciprocal in a Sentence

  1. Erik Pevernagie:

    When people are solely intersecting, we mainly hear monologues. But instead of soliloquizing we need dialoguing. Good social coherence requires a reciprocal willingness to create space for an open discussion. Plain talk and unbiased listening are the keystones for a healthy sovereign human living together. ("Why didn't he ask ? " )

  2. Alessandro Rosina:

    In southern Europe, reciprocal help is an important value, for emotional and material reasons. Young people leave home later than their northern European contemporaries. They live close to their parents, so their parents can help with child-rearing and then they, in turn, take care of elderly parents. Because of COVID, this system is now in crisis.

  3. Taylor Swift:

    I’m down to get in the studio and work. I don’t discriminate, I don’t have an elitism of music because of like how many Grammys or you know, the amount of ratings you get on an album, i that think everyone loves music whether they love hip-hop, alternative, country, and if I could be involved in giving people any type of energy, advice in the studio, whether you’re Beyonce, whether you’re Taylor Swift, whether you’re Jay Z, whether you’re Beck, whoever, and they can be reciprocal with that, I’d like to be involved with that.

  4. Imran Khan:

    Pakistan also retains the reciprocal right to retaliate... against acts of terror against Pakistan.

  5. Dmitry Rogozin:

    Measures for countering the aggressor could include those that concern Russia's strategic nuclear capability, that is reciprocal measures so that, God Forbid, no one gets a crazy idea in their head.

Images & Illustrations of reciprocal

  1. reciprocalreciprocalreciprocalreciprocalreciprocal

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for reciprocal

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for reciprocal »


Find a translation for the reciprocal definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these reciprocal definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "reciprocal." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 27 Nov. 2021. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/reciprocal>.

    Are we missing a good definition for reciprocal? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    destroy completely
    • A. disturb
    • B. condemn
    • C. emerge
    • D. demolish

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for reciprocal: