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 Beijing has retaliated with its own tariffs that target more than 5,000 US products. Laura He And Steven Jiang, CNN, "China waives tariffs on some US goods for first time since the trade war began," 11 Sep. 2019 Retaliation Beijing also has retaliated by canceling purchases of soybeans, the biggest single U.S. export to China. CBS News, "Stocks jump on word U.S.-China trade talks to resume in October," 5 Sep. 2019 So even when the Eagles got their first touchdown of the season, the Yellowjackets simply retaliated. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Pasadena ISD football teams will be seeking that Week 1 to Week 2 improvement," 5 Sep. 2019 To try to force Beijing to reform its trade practices, the Trump administration has imposed import taxes on billions of dollars' worth of Chinese imports, and China has retaliated with tariffs on U.S. exports. Christopher Rugaber, chicagotribune.com, "Consumers will soon see higher prices on many Chinese-made items as Trump’s latest round of tariffs take effect," 1 Sep. 2019 Russia retaliated by closing the U.S. consulate in St. Petersburg. Paige Cornwell, The Seattle Times, "More than a year after the Seattle consulate closed, Russians and Russian Americans ‘feel like we are left on our own’," 1 Sep. 2019 Beijing then retaliated last week, announcing its own higher import taxes. Fortune, "Facing New U.S. Tariffs, China Says it Will Not Retaliate," 29 Aug. 2019 The Rockies retaliated with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning with RBI singles by Yonathan Daza and Tony Wolters to cut the score to 5-3. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "Red Sox use four homers to outblast Rockies in sweep of two-game set," 28 Aug. 2019 My cousin retaliated with a public Facebook post calling out his nastiness for everyone to see. Ask Amy, al, "Ask Amy: Daughter wants to cut off ties with racist dad but feels guilty," 27 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

1 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for retaliate

The first known use of retaliate was in 1606

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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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