un mutual


possessed, experienced, performed, etc., by each of two or more with respect to the other; reciprocal: to have mutual respect.
having the same relation each toward the other: to be mutual enemies.
of or pertaining to each of two or more; held in common; shared: mutual interests.
having or pertaining to a form of corporate organization in which there are no stockholders, and in which profits, losses, expenses, etc., are shared by members in proportion to the business each transacts with the company: a mutual company. See also mutual insurance.
Informal. a mutual fund.

1470–80; < Middle French mutuel < Latin mūtu(us) mutual, reciprocal (mūt(āre) to change (see mutate) + -uus deverbal adj. suffix) + Middle French -el (< Latin -ālis) -al1

mutually, adverb
nonmutual, adjective
nonmutually, adverb
quasi-mutual, adjective
quasi-mutually, adverb
transmutual, adjective
transmutually, adverb
unmutual, adjective
unmutually, adverb

1. mutual, reciprocal (see synonym study at the current entry) ; 2. common, mutual, reciprocal (see usage note at the current entry).

1. Mutual, reciprocal agree in the idea of an exchange or balance between two or more persons or groups. Mutual indicates an exchange of a feeling, obligation, etc., between two or more people, or an interchange of some kind between persons or things: mutual esteem; in mutual agreement. Reciprocal indicates a relation in which one act, thing, feeling, etc., balances or is given in return for another: reciprocal promises or favors.

The earliest (15th century) and still a current meaning of mutual is “reciprocal,” specifying the relation of two or more persons or things to each other: Their admiration is mutual. Teachers and students sometimes suffer from a mutual misunderstanding. Mutual soon developed the sense of “having in common, shared”: Their mutual objective is peace. This latter sense has been in use since the 16th century and is entirely standard. It is occasionally criticized, not on the grounds of ambiguity but on the grounds that the later sense development is somehow wrong. Mutual in the sense of “shared” may have been encouraged by the title of Charles Dickens's novel Our Mutual Friend (1864–65), but Dickens was not the innovator. The fact that common also has the sense “ordinary, unexceptional” and “coarse, vulgar” may have contributed to the use of mutual instead of common in designating a shared friend.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mutual (ˈmjuːtʃʊəl)
1.  experienced or expressed by each of two or more people or groups about the other; reciprocal: mutual distrust
2.  common to or shared by both or all of two or more parties: a mutual friend; mutual interests
3.  denoting an insurance company, etc, in which the policyholders share the profits and expenses and there are no shareholders
[C15: from Old French mutuel, from Latin mūtuus reciprocal (originally: borrowed); related to mūtāre to change]
usage  The use of mutual to mean common to or shared by two or more parties was formerly considered incorrect, but is now acceptable. Tautologous use of mutual should be avoided: cooperation (not mutual cooperation) between the two countries

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 15c., originally of feelings, from M.Fr. mutuel (14c.), from L. mutuus "reciprocal, done in exchange," from PIE base *mei- "to change" (see mutable).
"The essence of its meaning is that it involves the relation x is or does to y as y to x; & not the relation, x is or does to z as y to z" [Fowler]
Mutual Admiration Society (1851) seems to have been coined by Thoreau. Mutual fund is recorded from 1950.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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