retaliate

verb
re·​tal·​i·​ate | \ ri-ˈta-lē-ˌāt How to pronounce retaliate (audio) \
retaliated; retaliating

Definition of retaliate

intransitive verb

: to return like for like especially : to get revenge

transitive verb

: to repay in kind retaliate an injury

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Other Words from retaliate

retaliation \ ri-​ˌta-​lē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce retaliation (audio) , ˌrē-​ \ noun
retaliative \ ri-​ˈta-​lē-​ˌā-​tiv How to pronounce retaliative (audio) \ adjective
retaliatory \ ri-​ˈtal-​yə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce retaliatory (audio) , -​ˈta-​lē-​ə-​ \ adjective

Synonyms for retaliate

Synonyms

avenge, redress, requite, revenge, venge [archaic]

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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of retaliate in a Sentence

After the company announced plans to reduce benefits, the union threatened to retaliate by calling for a strike. retaliated his neighbor's malicious destruction of his flower garden by cutting down the man's prize apple tree

Recent Examples on the Web

The other complaint, filed against Amazon itself, claims the company retaliated against other workers who went on strike in March by deducting hours from their unpaid time-off allotment. Josh Eidelson And Spencer Soper, latimes.com, "Amazon workers plan Prime Day strike at Minnesota warehouse," 8 July 2019 The second complaint, filed against Amazon itself, claims the company retaliated against other workers who went on strike in March by deducting hours from their unpaid time off allotment. Josh Eidelson, chicagotribune.com, "Amazon workers in Minnesota planning to strike on Prime Day," 8 July 2019 Gómez was allegedly retaliating after Fernández turned him in to Dominican drug investigators in 2011, prosecutors said earlier this month. Doha Madani, NBC News, "Alleged organizer in David Ortiz shooting arrested in Dominican Republic," 28 June 2019 The moves were spurred by allegations that managers retaliated against safety inspectors who reported problems, the Journal reported. Dallas News, "FAA moves three senior managers overseeing Southwest Airlines amid federal investigation," 26 June 2019 The reassignments, also prompted by allegations that managers retaliated against whistleblowing safety inspectors, were revealed to FAA employees on Tuesday, these people said. Alison Sider, WSJ, "FAA Reassigns Senior Managers in Office Overseeing Southwest Airlines," 25 June 2019 Turkey's foreign minister says his country will retaliate against any possible U.S. sanctions over its deal with Russia for the purchase of the S-400 missile defense system. Fox News, "Turkey to retaliate against any US sanctions over S-400 deal," 14 June 2019 Last month, the Fair Political Practices Commission fined him $5,500 for campaign finance violations, and in 2009 the county paid $1 million to settle a lawsuit with a female employee who complained that Kramer retaliated against her. Matthias Gafni, SFChronicle.com, "Contra Costa County Assessor Gus Kramer accused of creating hostile workplace, may face removal," 5 June 2019 The current concern about Iran’s capabilities and intent builds on months of mounting alarm about how Iran could use cyber means to retaliate against the U.S. for the Trump administration’s tough posture and heated rhetoric toward the country. Dustin Volz, WSJ, "U.S. Launched Cyberattacks on Iran," 23 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of retaliate

1606, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for retaliate

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

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Statistics for retaliate

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for retaliate

The first known use of retaliate was in 1606

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More Definitions for retaliate

retaliate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of retaliate

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

retaliate

verb
re·​tal·​i·​ate | \ ri-ˈta-lē-ˌāt How to pronounce retaliate (audio) \
retaliated; retaliating

Kids Definition of retaliate

: to get revenge by returning like for like

retaliate

intransitive verb
re·​tal·​i·​ate | \ ri-ˈta-lē-ˌāt How to pronounce retaliate (audio) \
retaliated; retaliating

Legal Definition of retaliate

: to act in revenge

Other Words from retaliate

retaliation \ -​ˌta-​lē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce retaliation (audio) \ noun
retaliative \ -​ˈta-​lē-​ˌā-​tiv How to pronounce retaliative (audio) \ adjective
retaliatory \ -​ˈtal-​yə-​ˌtōr-​ē How to pronounce retaliatory (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on retaliate

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