Simple Definition of reprisal
: something that is done to hurt or punish someone who has hurt you or done something bad to you
Full Definition of reprisal
1 a : the act or practice in international law of resorting to force short of war in retaliation for damage or loss suffered b : an instance of such action
2 obsolete : prize
3 : the regaining of something (as by recapture)
4 : something (as a sum of money) given or paid in restitution —usually used in plural
5 : a retaliatory act
Examples of reprisal
Enemy officers suffered harsh reprisals.
The allies threatened economic reprisals against the invading country.
The hostages were taken in reprisal for the bombing.
Origin of reprisal
Middle English reprisail, from Anglo-French reprisaile, from Medieval Latin represalia, from Old Italian rappresaglia, ultimately from ripreso, past participle of riprendere to take back, from ri- re- (from Latin re-) + prendere to take, from Latin prehendere — more at get
First Known Use: 15th century
REPRISAL Defined for Kids
Definition of reprisal
: an act in return for harm done by another : an act of revenge
Seen and Heard
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