Mu"tu*al (?), a. [F. mutuel, L. mutuus, orig., exchanged, borrowed, lent; akin to mutare to change. See Mutable.]

1.

Reciprocally acting or related; reciprocally receiving and giving; reciprocally given and received; reciprocal; interchanged; as, a mutual love, advantage, assistance, aversion, etc.

Conspiracy and mutual promise. Sir T. More.

Happy in our mutual help, And mutual love. Milton.

A certain shyness on such subjects, which was mutual between the sisters. G. Eliot.

2.

Possessed, experienced, or done by two or more persons or things at the same time; common; joint; as, mutual happiness; a mutual effort.

Burke.

A vast accession of misery and woe from the mutual weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Bentley.

⇒ This use of mutual as synonymous with common is inconsistent with the idea of interchange, or reciprocal relation, which properly belongs to it; but the word has been so used by many writers of high authority. The present tendency is toward a careful discrimination.

Mutual, as Johnson will tell us, means something reciprocal, a giving and taking. How could people have mutual ancestors? P. Harrison.

Mutual insurance, agreement among a number of persons to insure each other against loss, as by fire, death, or accident. -- Mutual insurance company, one which does a business of insurance on the mutual principle, the policy holders sharing losses and profits pro rata.

Syn. -- Reciprocal; interchanged; common.

 

© Webster 1913.

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.