reprisal

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noun re·pri·sal \ri-ˈprī-zəl\

Definition of reprisal

  1. 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. 2 obsolete :  prize

  3. 3 :  the regaining of something (as by recapture)

  4. 4 :  something (as a sum of money) given or paid in restitution —usually used in plural

  5. 5 :  a retaliatory act

Examples of reprisal in a sentence

  1. Enemy officers suffered harsh reprisals.

  2. The allies threatened economic reprisals against the invading country.

  3. The hostages were taken in reprisal for the bombing.

Origin and Etymology 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 English Language Learners

reprisal

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noun re·pri·sal \ri-ˈprī-zəl\

Definition of reprisal for English Language Learners

  • : something that is done to hurt or punish someone who has hurt you or done something bad to you


REPRISAL Defined for Kids

reprisal

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noun re·pri·sal \ri-ˈprī-zəl\

Definition of reprisal for Students

  1. :  an act in return for harm done by another :  an act of revenge


Law Dictionary

reprisal

play
noun re·pri·sal \ri-ˈprī-zəl\

Legal Definition of reprisal

  1. 1a :  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. 2 :  a retaliatory act <may not fire a complaining employee in reprisal>

Origin and Etymology of reprisal

Anglo-French reprisaile reprisaille, from Middle French, from Old Italian ripresaglia, from ripreso, past participle of riprendere to take back, from ri- back + prendere to take, from Latin prehendere



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