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 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 The North’s official Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday said the hard-line steps were taken to retaliate for South Korea’s failure to prevent activists from floating propaganda leaflets across the border. Fox News, "North Korea: Redeploying troops, resuming military exercises at inter-Korean cooperation sites," 17 June 2020 The North’s official Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday said the hard-line steps were taken to retaliate for South Korea’s failure to prevent activists from floating propaganda leaflets across the border. Time, "After Blowing Up a Liaison Office, North Korea's Military Says It Will Enter More Sites Symbolizing Inter-Korean Cooperation," 17 June 2020 If Huawei's advances are rejected by British regulators, China could retaliate by punishing HSBC, Lam said. Michelle Toh, CNN, "HSBC is taking heat from all sides after backing China on Hong Kong," 10 June 2020 China's ambassador to the U.K., however, has warned Beijing could retaliate against Britain if Huawei is blocked, threatening to open a new front in the China-U.K. rift. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "China raises the stakes in defending Huawei in the U.K.," 8 June 2020 Rousting law enforcement to violently retaliate against black people en masse is the first step. Matthew Valasik, The Conversation, "Why are white supremacists protesting the deaths of black people?," 5 June 2020 Merrithew contends police are using the tear gas to retaliate against protesters who have been rallying for the city to defund many of the officers’ jobs in violation of their First Amendment right to free speech and assembly. oregonlive, "Lawyer for Don’t Shoot Portland suggests police should retreat, not use tear gas; city argues plenty of limits already in place," 10 June 2020 That prompted Trump to retaliate, signing an executive order which threatens to undermine a decades-old law that shields the tech industry from being held legally responsible for harmful content on their platforms. Anchorage Daily News, "Facebook employees said they were ‘caught in an abusive relationship’ with Trump as internal debates raged," 5 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

23 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Retaliate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retaliate. Accessed 3 Jul. 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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