Definition of reciprocity in US English:



  • The practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organization to another.

    ‘the Community intends to start discussions on reciprocity with third countries’
    • ‘Ivanov said that the principle of reciprocity, a key principle in diplomacy, should be applied to the issue.’
    • ‘While some of this reflects a suspicion of the motives of foreign firms, there may also be an awareness of the lack of reciprocity.’
    • ‘Each campus would effectively be a separate campus, but there would be reciprocity between the various campuses.’
    • ‘We believe that reciprocity is not an appropriate basis for trade between countries and regions at such different levels of development.’
    • ‘Even when I cooked dinner, which he'd devour with glee, he would feel no sense of reciprocity.’
    • ‘Such goodwill obviously deserves similar reciprocity from the Israeli side.’
    • ‘Thus began a long correspondence and professional friendship based on reciprocity and shared artistic beliefs.’
    • ‘Similarly, Stephane and Maxim's relationship is also one of reciprocity.’
    • ‘In the visual arts, too, there was far more reciprocity than previously acknowledged.’
    • ‘Furthermore, interpersonal relationships in Asia Pacific are based on reciprocity and return of favours.’
    • ‘We are so used to our vain understanding of the law of reciprocity that we think in terms of what we get back for what we give.’
    • ‘On the other hand, the North ought to follow suit, respecting the principle of reciprocity.’
    • ‘Thus the first fundamental principle of the gift economy is a return or reciprocity.’
    • ‘Ontario's minister of health acknowledged the heroic work of healthcare workers, and this was an important act of reciprocity.’
    • ‘The founding principle of human culture in general is exchange, transforming hostility into reciprocity.’
    • ‘While reciprocity is important, generosity is crucial to a good mate.’
    • ‘Are buyers going to reveal their financial condition prior to the exchange as a gesture of reciprocity?’
    • ‘This will also guarantee the principle of reciprocity when relaxed travel terms are negotiated with other countries.’
    • ‘We must oppose any trade rules based on even the most minimalist form of reciprocity in market access.’
    • ‘In the 19th century, states dealt with each other strictly on the basis of reciprocity.’
    exchange, trade, trade-off, swap, switch, barter, substitute, substitution, reciprocation, return, payment, remuneration, amends, compensation, indemnity, recompense, restitution, reparation, satisfaction
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Mid 18th century: from French réciprocité, from réciproque, from Latin reciprocus ‘moving backwards and forwards’ (see reciprocate).