Mu"tu*al (?), a. [F. mutuel, L. mutuus, orig., exchanged, borrowed, lent; akin to mutare to change. See Mutable.]
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.
A certain shyness on such subjects, which was mutual between the sisters.
Possessed, experienced, or done by two or more persons or things at the same time; common; joint; as, mutual happiness; a mutual effort.
A vast accession of misery and woe from the mutual weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
⇒ 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?
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.