verb re·quite \ ri-ˈkwīt \

Definition of requite

requited; requiting
1 a : to make return for : repay
b : to make retaliation for : avenge
2 : to make suitable return to for a benefit or service or for an injury



requite was our Word of the Day on 05/14/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of requite in a Sentence

  1. the company requited the employee who had fallen on the ice while leaving work by promptly paying all his medical bills, hoping that would stave off a lawsuit

  2. the future writer would later requite the abuse he suffered at the hands of his classmates by creating scathing portraits of them in his novels

Recent Examples of requite from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'requite.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

You might be familiar with the phrase "unrequited love." Love that has not been requited is love that has not been returned or paid back in kind, which brings us to the common denominator in the above definitions for "requite"-the idea of repayment, recompense, or retribution. The "quite" in "requite" is a now obsolete English verb meaning "to set free, discharge, or repay." ("Quite" is also related to the English verb "quit," the oldest meanings of which include "to pay up" and "to set free.") "Quiten," the Middle English source of "quite," can be traced back through Anglo-French to Latin quietus ("quiet" or "at rest"), a word which is also an ancestor of the English word quiet.

Origin and Etymology of requite

re- + obsolete quite to quit, pay, from Middle English quiten — more at quit

requite Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of requite

reciprocate, retaliate, requite, return mean to give back usually in kind or in quantity. reciprocate implies a mutual or equivalent exchange or a paying back of what one has received.
    • reciprocated their hospitality by inviting them for a visit
retaliate usually implies a paying back of injury in exact kind, often vengefully.
    • the enemy retaliated by executing their prisoners
requite implies a paying back according to one's preference and often not equivalently.
    • requited her love with cold indifference
return implies a paying or giving back.
    • returned their call
    • return good for evil

REQUITE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of requite for English Language Learners

  • : to give or do something in return for (something that another person has given or done)

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to grant as a privilege or special favor

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