AskDefine | Define reciprocation

Dictionary Definition



1 the act of making and return or doing something in return
2 alternating back-and-forth movement
3 mutual interaction; the activity of interchanging or reciprocating [syn: interchange, give-and-take]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The act of reciprocating; interchange of acts; a mutual giving and returning; as, the reciprocation of kindness.
  2. Alternate recurrence or action; as, the reciprocation of the sea in the flow and ebb of tides.


Extensive Definition

See Reciprocal for mathematical terminology.
Reciprocation is the action in which a body's displacement returns to its starting location in a given time repeatedly. The velocity over which the displacement occurs with each repetition not necessarily being constant. Such an action is usually used to describe quickly moving implements in mechanical objects usually linearly within a given axis, or even in complex displacement/velocity paths. eg. the piston engine is a reciprocating engine with the piston being the object of reciprocation within the lineal axis of the cylinder.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Lissajous figure, alternation, back-and-forth, balance, battledore and shuttlecock, boomerang, coequality, comeback, coming and going, communion, community, commutation, cooperation, corelation, correlation, correlativism, correlativity, correspondence, counter, counterblast, counterblow, counterchange, counterstroke, cross fire, ebb and flow, equilibrium, equipollence, equivalence, exchange, flux and reflux, give-and-take, interchange, intermutation, interplay, inverse proportion, inverse ratio, inverse relationship, lex talionis, measure for measure, mutual admiration, mutual support, mutual transfer, mutuality, permutation, proportionality, quid pro quo, reciprocality, reciprocity, recoil, relativity, reply, retaliation, retort, return, rhythmic play, seesaw, seesawing, sine wave, something for something, symmetry, teeter, teeter-totter, teeter-tottering, teetering, tit for tat, to-and-fro, tottering, transposal, transposition, ups and downs, wigwag
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