- the principle or law of retaliation that a punishment inflicted should correspond in degree and kind to the offense of the wrongdoer, as an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; retributive justice.
Origin of lex talionis
First recorded in 1590–1600, lex talionis is from the Latin word lēx taliōnis law of talion
Also called talion.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- the law of revenge or retaliation
C16: New Latin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for lex talionis
1590s, Latin, "law of retaliation," from talionis, genitive of talio (see retaliation); an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper