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

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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 Trump earlier this week said his administration is considering banning TikTok as one way to retaliate against China over its handling of the coronavirus. Shelly Banjo, Fortune, "TikTok teens target the Trump campaign, again," 9 July 2020 In return, people retaliate by killing and injuring offending elephants. Vicky Boult, Quartz Africa, "Scientists have some theories on why hundreds of elephants are mysteriously dying in Botswana," 7 July 2020 Ousted Health and Human Services scientist Rick Bright is accusing HHS Secretary Alex Azar of continuing to retaliate against him in his new position at the National Institutes of Health. CBS News, "Vaccine whistleblower accuses HHS secretary of ongoing retaliation," 25 June 2020 One may decide to become angry, retaliate and go down that destructive, dark path. Kathleen Toner, CNN, "The US is gripped by 'a pandemic of grief.' These CNN Heroes are helping people navigate it," 25 June 2020 North Korea plans to retaliate for packages sent over the border by defectors containing derogatory information about Kim Jong Un along with South Korean soap operas on memory sticks. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "70 Years After the War, No Resolution in Korea," 24 June 2020 The pledge by the North to retaliate presents another threat to the fragile détente on the Korean Peninsula. Choe Sang-hun, BostonGlobe.com, "North Korea vows to dump millions of leaflets and trash on the South," 22 June 2020 Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, told investors last week that the company does not retaliate against workers who speak out about workplace conditions. Washington Post, "The Technology 202: Snap's decision could have implications for Trump's young voter outreach," 3 June 2020 By stating that India also inflicted casualties on PLA forces, New Delhi may be trying to relieve popular pressure to retaliate. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Behind deadly clash with India, a pattern of Chinese assertiveness," 19 June 2020

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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Statistics for retaliate

Last Updated

17 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Retaliate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retaliate. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for retaliate

retaliate

verb
How to pronounce retaliate (audio)

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
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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