Definition of retaliate
: to repay in kind retaliate an injury
: to return like for like; especially : to get revenge
retaliationplay \ri-ˌta-lē-ˈā-shən, ˌrē-\ noun
retaliativeplay \ri-ˈta-lē-ˌā-tiv\ adjective
retaliatoryplay \-ˈtal-yə-ˌtȯr-ē, -ˈta-lē-ə-\ adjective
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 of retaliate from the Web
Putin broke with tradition and refrained from retaliating when Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats and shut down the two compounds in December in response to the election hacking that U.S. intelligence agencies blamed on Russia.
Browder led the lobbying for the Magnitsky Act's passage in 2012, a vote that infuriated Putin, leading the Russian leader to retaliate by halting American adoption of Russian children.
Despite Nick’s effort to ingratiate himself with the more violent of the Otto boys, Troy seems most likely to be the one who eventually retaliates for Jeremiah’s death.
Angered over the law, Russia retaliated by halting U.S. adoptions of Russian children.
Even a precise strike aimed at destroying the North’s partially hidden nuclear and missile force is unlikely to stop the North from retaliating with long-range artillery that could kill stunning numbers in South Korea.
The winner of that election has threatened to remove libel protections and retaliate against specific news organizations while riling up crowds against the media at his Nuremberg-style rallies.
Kravitz had gone after Barnett-Azhocar with brass knuckles while Barnett-Azhocar retaliated with a Dewalt 6-inch serrated hand saw, police said.
Residents were terrified that ISIS would come back and retaliate.
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: 1606See Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of retaliate
RETALIATE Defined for English Language Learners
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
Definition of retaliate for Students
: to get revenge by returning like for like
Seen and Heard
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