- requital according to merits or deserts, especially for evil.
- something given or inflicted in such requital.
- Theology. the distribution of rewards and punishments in a future life.
Origin of retribution
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for retribution
We are all guilty all the time and retribution will come for our unnamed sins.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
Soon, though, voices from off camera begin shouting for retribution, not justice, chanting “Burn this b**** down.”Michael Brown’s Stepfather Tells Crowd, ‘Burn This Bitch Down’
Jack Holmes, The Daily Beast Video
November 25, 2014
He came around at a time when a lot of urban artists were getting dicked around by labels and had no means of retribution.Method Man Talks Wu-Tang Clan Reunion, Fake Rappers, and the Suge Knight Shooting
September 15, 2014
He had seen her face on TV, and decided to spit on her as retribution.Joe the Plumber’s ‘Dead Kid’ Callousness
May 29, 2014
In her case, she said, revealing her identity was “retribution for my husband…a warning shot.”Valerie Plame: Kabul CIA Station Chief’s Outing Was ‘Colossally Stupid’
May 29, 2014
When the storm came, she was frightened, and said, 'It is a retribution.'Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
It is of no use for us to think to evade this law; neither is it a law wholly of retribution.Hetty's Strange History
Since that time they have lived in deadly fear of retribution.The Forest
Stewart Edward White
Sooner or later,--sooner or later,--the day of retribution comes.Henry Dunbar
M. E. Braddon
There is retribution, but Falstaff is only pinched by the fairies.The American Mind
- the act of punishing or taking vengeance for wrongdoing, sin, or injury
- punishment or vengeance
Word Origin and History for retribution
late 14c., "repayment," from Old French retribution and directly from Latin retributionem (nominative retributio) "recompense, repayment," noun of action from past participle stem of retribuere "hand back, repay," from re- "back" (see re-) + tribuere "to assign, allot" (see tribute). Originally "that which is given in return for past good or evil;" restricted modern use of "evil given for evil done" (1560s) is from day of retribution (1520s), in Christian theology the time of divine reward or punishment.