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.

    • ‘Ivanov said that the principle of reciprocity, a key principle in diplomacy, should be applied to the issue.’
    • ‘This will also guarantee the principle of reciprocity when relaxed travel terms are negotiated with other countries.’
    • ‘Are buyers going to reveal their financial condition prior to the exchange as a gesture of reciprocity?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Furthermore, interpersonal relationships in Asia Pacific are based on reciprocity and return of favours.’
    • ‘Thus the first fundamental principle of the gift economy is a return or reciprocity.’
    • ‘Each campus would effectively be a separate campus, but there would be reciprocity between the various campuses.’
    • ‘Even when I cooked dinner, which he'd devour with glee, he would feel no sense of reciprocity.’
    • ‘Thus began a long correspondence and professional friendship based on reciprocity and shared artistic beliefs.’
    • ‘We believe that reciprocity is not an appropriate basis for trade between countries and regions at such different levels of development.’
    • ‘Similarly, Stephane and Maxim's relationship is also one of reciprocity.’
    • ‘Such goodwill obviously deserves similar reciprocity from the Israeli side.’
    • ‘While reciprocity is important, generosity is crucial to a good mate.’
    • ‘On the other hand, the North ought to follow suit, respecting the principle of reciprocity.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the visual arts, too, there was far more reciprocity than previously acknowledged.’
    • ‘The founding principle of human culture in general is exchange, transforming hostility into reciprocity.’
    • ‘While some of this reflects a suspicion of the motives of foreign firms, there may also be an awareness of the lack of reciprocity.’
    • ‘Ontario's minister of health acknowledged the heroic work of healthcare workers, and this was an important act 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).