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

But at the end of the 90 days, the US would retain the freedom to retaliate, the industry officials said. Brian Fung, CNN, "France touted a 'compromise' with the US on tech tax, but it's far from settled," 30 Aug. 2019 No tankers have been targeted in significant covert attacks since the June 20 operation, although Iran did seize a British tanker to retaliate against the detention of one of its own ships. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "US hack attack hobbles Iran’s ability to target oil tankers, NYT says," 28 Aug. 2019 Only hours before his arrival in Biarritz Saturday, Mr. Trump threatened anew to place tariffs on French wine imports to the U.S. in a spat over France's digital services tax; the European Union promised to retaliate. CBS News, "White House says Trump regrets not raising China tariffs higher after G-7 comments," 25 Aug. 2019 By July 2018, Iran had threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz to retaliate against the ratcheting up of U.S. sanctions against it. Rockford Weitz, The Conversation, "What is at stake in the Strait of Hormuz?," 19 July 2019 Share Your Thoughts What sectors should be targeted if the U.S. were to retaliate against the EU’s retaliatory tariffs on boats, bourbon, motorcycles and bluejeans? John D. Stoll, WSJ, "Boatbuilder’s Million-Dollar Problem: No One Wants to Eat the Tariff," 28 June 2019 On Sunday, the United States imposed a 15% tariff on some $110 billion worth of Chinese imports, while Beijing retaliated with 5% to 10% levies on about $75 billion of American imports. Anneken Tappe, CNN, "Dow set to slide on new tariffs and global economic troubles," 3 Sep. 2019 President Donald Trump came close to retaliating but called off an airstrike at the last moment. Washington Post, "Iranian oil tanker pursued by US says it is going to Turkey," 24 Aug. 2019 Caffrey said she was retaliated against for her work leading a study on the potential impacts of sea level rise and storm surge on coastal national parks under future climate change scenarios. Georgina Gustin, sun-sentinel.com, "Top CDC health and climate scientist files whistleblower complaint," 18 Aug. 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

20 Sep 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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