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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce reciprocate (audio)

Dictionary definition of reciprocate

To respond or react in a similar or corresponding manner to a gesture, action, or sentiment that has been received from someone else.
"I appreciate your kindness and will reciprocate the favor."

Detailed meaning of reciprocate

It involves giving or returning something in kind, often as a direct response to an earlier action or expression. Reciprocating implies a mutual exchange or interaction, where both parties engage in a reciprocal behavior. It can involve actions, emotions, favors, or gestures, and it emphasizes the idea of mirroring or reflecting the behavior or sentiment initially received. For example, when someone shows kindness or affection, reciprocating would involve responding with similar warmth and care. Reciprocation plays a fundamental role in establishing and maintaining social connections, as it fosters a sense of balance and fairness in relationships. Overall, to reciprocate means to give back or respond in a manner that corresponds to what has been given or done by another person.

Example sentences containing reciprocate

1. When someone smiles at me, I make sure to reciprocate with a smile back.
2. She offered to help, and I will reciprocate by assisting her next time.
3. It's important to reciprocate the love and support we receive from others.
4. When someone extends their hand for a handshake, it is polite to reciprocate.
5. He always goes out of his way to help me, so I try to reciprocate whenever possible.
6. If you invite me to your party, I will reciprocate by inviting you to mine.

History and etymology of reciprocate

The verb 'reciprocate' has its etymological roots in the Latin word 'reciprocatus,' which is the past participle of 'reciprocare.' This Latin term is derived from 'reciprocus,' meaning 'moving backward and forward' or 'alternating.' The prefix 're-' signifies a sense of back or again, while 'procurare' means 'to take care of' or 'to manage.' Thus, 'reciprocate' etymologically conveys the idea of responding or reacting in a similar or corresponding manner to a gesture, action, or sentiment that has been received from someone else. It reflects the notion of an exchange or alternation in kind, capturing the essence of giving back in response to what has been given, much like a reciprocal movement.

Quiz: Find the meaning of reciprocate

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Further usage examples of reciprocate

1. We should reciprocate the generosity of our friends by being generous in return.
2. Kindness is contagious, and I aim to reciprocate acts of kindness whenever I can.
3. When someone shows interest in my hobbies, I reciprocate by showing interest in theirs.
4. If someone offers to pay for my meal, I'll reciprocate by treating them next time.
5. We should strive to reciprocate the respect we receive from others.
6. When someone listens to my problems, I reciprocate by being a good listener as well.
7. In a healthy relationship, both partners reciprocate love and care for each other.
8. When someone gives me a gift, I make sure to reciprocate with a thoughtful present.
9. If you take the time to visit me, I will reciprocate by visiting you as well.
10. It's important to reciprocate the trust that others place in us.
11. If someone invites me to their home, I reciprocate by inviting them to mine.
12. When someone offers their help, it's considerate to reciprocate by offering help in return.
13. Friendship is a two-way street, where both parties should reciprocate friendship and support.
14. After receiving a thoughtful gift, she felt compelled to reciprocate the gesture with a present of her own.



return, ignore, disregard, neglect


GRE 4 (Graduate Record Examination), Consequences and Reactions, Empathy and Compassion

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