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 retaliate (audio) , ˌrē-​ \ noun
retaliative \ ri-​ˈta-​lē-​ˌā-​tiv How to pronounce retaliate (audio) \ adjective
retaliatory \ ri-​ˈtal-​yə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce retaliate (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 But opposing schools in the West Valley League are beginning to retaliate by refusing to play at Granada Hills. Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 5 Oct. 2021 Sahagun went back with his brother to the man’s house to retaliate, his attorney, Joseph Roberts, said. Meredith Colias-pete, chicagotribune.com, 30 Sep. 2021 While the watchdog report did not find evidence that this process was used to harass or retaliate, other issues were uncovered. Geneva Sands, CNN, 23 Sep. 2021 The Taliban government has promised to let Americans and Afghans with proper travel documents leave the country and to not retaliate against those who helped the U.S. Arkansas Online, 19 Sep. 2021 The Taliban government has promised to let Americans and Afghans with proper travel documents leave the country and to not retaliate against those who helped the United States. BostonGlobe.com, 18 Sep. 2021 The Taliban government has promised to let Americans and Afghans with proper travel documents leave the country and to not retaliate against those who helped the United States. Bernard Condon And Julie Watson, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Sep. 2021 The Islamist militant organization has promised not to retaliate, but evidence of Taliban killings, detentions and intimidation has emerged across Afghanistan. Washington Post, 27 Aug. 2021 The Utah Republican’s remarks came shortly after Biden gave a speech vowing to retaliate for the attack. Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 Aug. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near retaliate

retaker

retaliate

retaliator

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Statistics for retaliate

Last Updated

10 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Retaliate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retaliate. Accessed 20 Oct. 2021.

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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 retaliate (audio) \ noun
retaliative \ -​ˈta-​lē-​ˌā-​tiv How to pronounce retaliate (audio) \ adjective
retaliatory \ -​ˈtal-​yə-​ˌtōr-​ē How to pronounce retaliate (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on retaliate

Nglish: Translation of retaliate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of retaliate for Arabic Speakers

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