Russian Language Blog

Mutually Beneficial: Russian Words With Взаимо- You Need To Know Posted by on Dec 6, 2016 in language, Russian for beginners

carpentry joint

Image from Pixabay

Взаимо- is a useful root that lets you create compound words with the sense of “mutual” or “two-way.” This post will list some common words made with that root.

First, взаимо-  is related to the adjective “взаимный,” “mutual.”

Сохрани́ть доброжела́тельность, чу́вство взаи́много уваже́ния, любви́ ― о́чень сло́жная шту́ка. (Keeping that friendliness, the feeling of mutual respect and love is a very difficult thing.) [И. Э. Кио. Иллюзии без иллюзий (1995-1999)]

Note that “mutual” here means “two-way,” “reciprocated.” If you mean “mutual” as in “shared,” use “общий,” e.g. наш общий друг (our mutual friend).

Another related word is взаимность (“mutuality,” “reciprocity”), usually found in such set expressions as отвечать взаимностью (to reciprocate).

Ва́ша любо́вь тро́гает меня́, но я не могу́ отвеча́ть взаи́мностью, вот и всё. (I am touched by your affection, but I cannot return it, that is all. – Translation by George Calderon) [А. П. Чехов. Чайка (1896)]


Связь is the word for “connection,” so взаимосвязь can mean “relationship, connection, association.”

Кста́ти, взаимосвя́зь куре́ния и депре́ссии то́чно устано́влена; тепе́рь выясня́ют, что причи́на, а что сле́дствие. (By the way, the connection between smoking and depression has been definitively established; now it’s being determined what is the cause and what is that effect.) [Анна Варшавская. Дым для дам (2002) // «Домовой», 2002.09.04]

There is also an adjective to express the same idea — взаимосвязанные (usually plural, since more than one thing is needed for a connection).

А так как все проце́ссы во Вселе́нной в той и́ли ино́й ме́ре взаимосвя́заны, то нали́чие хотя́ бы одного́ стро́го необрати́мого физи́ческого проце́сса мо́жет по существу́ служи́ть обоснова́нием необрати́мости вре́мени. (Since all processes in the universe are more or less interconnected, having at least one strictly irreversible physical process can essentially corroborate the irreversibility of time.) [В. Н. Комаров. Тайны пространства и времени (1995-2000)]


This word is very common and means “mutual understanding.”

Ра́зница культу́р и индивидуа́льного о́пыта уменьша́ет на́ши ша́нсы на взаимопонима́ние. (The difference in culture and individial experience reduces our chances for understanding.) [Алена Браво. Комендантский час для ласточек // «Сибирские огни», 2012]


at the market

Image from Pixabay

Выгода is profit/benefit, so взаимовыгодный means “mutually beneficial.”

Взаимовы́годное сотру́дничество ― э́то не то́лько надлежа́щее соотноше́ние цены́ и ка́чества проду́кта, но и таки́е моме́нты, как ги́бкость, бы́страя реа́кции на потре́бности партнёра. (A mutually beneficial partnership is not just good value for money, but also such things as flexibility and responsiveness to your partner’s needs.) [Вкусные продукты из Польши // «Эксперт», 2014]


Заменять means to replace — we covered this verb and its related verbs before. Взаимозаменямый means interchangeable.

— По́льша и католици́зм — взаимозаменя́емые поня́тия в ма́ссовом созна́нии. (Poland and Catholicism are interchangeable in the public mind.) [Олег Сулькин. «Никого не хочу клеймить: мой фильм «Ида» — о христианском прощении» // Известия, 2014.05.15]


Действие is action, so, quite logically, взаимодействие is interaction. To interact is взаимодействовать.

Поня́тие биоэтики обознача́ет весь круг эти́ческих пробле́м во взаимоде́йствии врача́ и пацие́нта. (Bioethics refers to the entire range of ethical issues in physician-patient interactions.) [М. В. Строганова. Убил ли врач пациента, или что происходит под покровом биоэтики? (2015.10.30)]

There are quite a few other common words with взаимо-, such as взаимоисключаемый (mutually exclusive), взаимозависимый (mutually dependent), etc. What other examples can you think of? Have you seen any of these words in Russian media or literature?

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About the Author: Maria

Maria is a Russian-born translator from Western New York. She is excited to share her fascination with all things Russian on this blog. Maria's professional updates are available in English on her website and Twitter and in Russian on Telegram.


  1. Peter:

    Thanks Maria … this is brilliant and just the sort of thing that really helps language learning (as you seem to be getting lots of words for the price of one!).

    What is the root of ‘взаимо’, as it does appear to be linked to link (‘связь’)? I wonder if it’s also related to ‘visa’ in some way … maybe not but it’s a good way to remember ‘взаимо’!

    • Maria:

      @Peter Thank you, Peter. I’m glad you found this helpful — these words are, indeed, used a lot.
      According to Wiktionary, the root of взаимно is им — the same root as “иметь” (to have). Still, if “visa” works as a mnemonic device, why not!