retaliate

play
verb re·tal·i·ate \ri-ˈta-lē-ˌāt\

Definition of retaliate

retaliated

;

retaliating

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to repay in kind retaliate an injury

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to return like for like; especially :  to get revenge

retaliation

play \ri-ˌta-lē-ˈā-shən, ˌrē-\ noun

retaliative

play \ri-ˈta-lē-ˌā-tiv\ adjective

retaliatory

play \-ˈtal-yə-ˌtȯr-ē, -ˈta-lē-ə-\ adjective

Examples of retaliate in a Sentence

  1. After the company announced plans to reduce benefits, the union threatened to retaliate by calling for a strike.

  2. retaliated his neighbor's malicious destruction of his flower garden by cutting down the man's prize apple tree

Recent Examples of retaliate from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of retaliate

Late Latin retaliatus, past participle of retaliare, from Latin re- + talio legal retaliation


First Known Use: 1606

Synonym Discussion of retaliate

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

RETALIATE Defined for English Language Learners

retaliate

play
verb

Definition of retaliate for English Language Learners

  • : to do something bad to someone who has hurt you or treated you badly : to get revenge against someone


RETALIATE Defined for Kids

retaliate

play
verb re·tal·i·ate \ri-ˈta-lē-ˌāt\

Definition of retaliate for Students

retaliated

;

retaliating

  1. :  to get revenge by returning like for like


Law Dictionary

retaliate

play
intransitive verb re·tal·i·ate \ri-ˈta-lē-ˌāt\

Legal Definition of retaliate

retaliated

retaliating

  1. :  to act in revenge

retaliation

\-ˌta-lē-ˈā-shən\ play noun

retaliative

\-ˈta-lē-ˌā-tiv\ play adjective

retaliatory

\-ˈtal-yə-ˌtōr-ē\ play adjective


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