- to return like for like, especially evil for evil: to retaliate for an injury.
- to requite or make return for (a wrong or injury) with the like.
Origin of retaliate
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for retaliatory
Persuading China to block the north is a lot easier than the U.S. launching a retaliatory cyberstrike against the Sony attackers.Obama Could Hit China to Punish North Korea
Shane Harris, Tim Mak
December 20, 2014
In order to satisfy the husband of the initial victim, the village chief decided that he would carry out the retaliatory rape.How India’s Honor Culture Perpetuates Mass Rape
July 14, 2014
On the other, it has refused to endorse a Western-led retaliatory strike.Is Obama Going to War Just to ‘Check the Box’?
August 31, 2013
Timely intelligence was proving key in combating the gang problem, where many of the shootings are retaliatory.Chicago Police Say Shooting Deaths Are Declining
May 31, 2013
When Sheridan told him in February that she was fired, Meyer said he was “it struck me as retaliatory.”Sheridan-Cherry Trial Reveals Ugliest Truth of ‘Desperate Housewives’
Maria Elena Fernandez
March 12, 2012
It was the fear of retaliatory punishment that kept them aloof.Famous Islands and Memorable Voyages
But Briggs had recourse to what he believed to be a retaliatory taunt.Under the Redwoods
Many Congressmen have felt the retaliatory power of the Federation.The Armies of Labor
Samuel P. Orth
Great Britain, too, was to suffer from her own retaliatory policy.
But these retaliatory arguments have the fault of proving nothing at all.The Uprising of a Great People
Count Agnor de Gasparin
- (intr) to take retributory action, esp by returning some injury or wrong in kind
- (intr) to cast (accustations) back upon a person
- (tr) rare to avenge (an injury, wrong, etc)
Word Origin and History for retaliatory
1610s, from Latin retaliatus, past participle of retaliare "requite, retaliate" (see retaliation). Related: Retaliated; retaliating.