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

Synonyms for retaliate

Synonyms

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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 Utah Republican’s remarks came shortly after Biden gave a speech vowing to retaliate for the attack. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 Aug. 2021 Further, the governor and his senior team took actions to retaliate against at least one former employee for coming forward with her story, her truth. New York Times, 10 Aug. 2021 In a countersuit denying the allegations, the defendants alleged that the company had teamed up with Chinese authorities to retaliate for the former official’s opposition to a contentious toll-collection contract. Sebastian Rotella, ProPublica, 23 July 2021 Other remedial avenues are often closed as well; for one, officers who retaliate against press coverage—even through the use of unwarranted force—virtually never face prosecution for doing so. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 20 Aug. 2021 Attorneys for prisoners assert that DOC officials issued disciplinary charges to retaliate against prisoners and to thwart their efforts to win grievances. BostonGlobe.com, 14 Aug. 2021 Many progressives also fear that Republicans would pack the Court — or at least that Republicans would do so to retaliate if Democrats tried. Dan Mclaughlin, National Review, 29 July 2021 The passenger then kicked out the car window to retaliate, with a bottle being broken on one of the cars involved. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, 10 July 2021 The call comes as Biden has faced calls to retaliate against Russia over a string of recent cyberattacks. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, 9 July 2021

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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Time Traveler for retaliate

Time Traveler

The first known use of retaliate was in 1606

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Dictionary Entries Near retaliate

retaker

retaliate

retaliator

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Statistics for retaliate

Last Updated

4 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Retaliate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retaliate. Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on retaliate

Nglish: Translation of retaliate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of retaliate for Arabic Speakers

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