(in warfare) retaliation against an enemy, for injuries received, by the infliction of equal or greater injuries.
an act or instance of retaliation.
the action or practice of using force, short of war, against another nation, to secure redress of a grievance.
the forcible seizure of property or subjects in retaliation.
- non·re·pris·al, noun
- reprisal , reprise
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use reprisal in a sentence
Though the film received rave reviews at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival last January, global streamers passed on acquiring it, possibly because they feared reprisals from Mohammed’s government.An alleged Saudi troll campaign is targeting a movie about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi | Steven Zeitchik | January 21, 2021 | Washington Post
ESPN obtained the messages in 2017 but did not report the story because the woman, who is not from the United States and is not fluent in English, feared reprisal from Porter.Mets fire GM Jared Porter after ESPN details lewd, harassing texts to female reporter | Dave Sheinin, Cindy Boren | January 19, 2021 | Washington Post
Thirty other Ugandan humanist groups backed the letter, although some refused to be named due to fears of reprisal.Can Uganda Help Africa Break the Church’s Grip on Weddings? | Charu Kasturi | December 14, 2020 | Ozy
Another worried about potential reprisals from EA in the future.‘Battle for Middle-earth’ exposed the stresses of game development. They haven’t gone away. | Matt Paprocki | December 3, 2020 | Washington Post
“A source close to the Gómez campaign, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, tells JI that Justice Democrats is no longer actively fundraising for Gómez because of disagreements over Israel,” reported the outlet.Politics Report: It’s Happening! Plus, the Elections Contest | Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts | October 31, 2020 | Voice of San Diego
Declining to use his real name out of fear of reprisal, Ibrahim describes a dark and gruesome odyssey.
The young Syrian-Palestinian cartoonist extends a vital tradition—but one where reprisal can mean violence death.Hani Abbas Extends the Vital Tradition of Political Cartooning in the Mideast | Patrick Hilsman | October 20, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
The attack was allegedly meant to serve as a reprisal for American participation in Operation Restore Hope in Somalia.Did the U.S. Make a Mistake In Seizing Anas al-Liby? | Jamie Dettmer | October 14, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
Only … in Russia, those qualities in a journalist marked a man for savage reprisal rather.
Every new attack invites a fresh reprisal of often disproportionate intensity.
The Council of Caledonia, in great indignation, issued letters of mark and reprisal against Spanish vessels.The History of England from the Accession of James II. | Thomas Babington Macaulay
Cousin would have tried a shot at the renegade if not for fear of instant reprisal on the girl.A Virginia Scout | Hugh Pendexter
Despite the justice of the reprisal, it went against his nature to kill an unarmed enemy.The Pilgrim's Shell or Fergan the Quarryman | Eugne Sue
In accordance with their usual practice, they claimed that the British used the gas first, and that they used it only in reprisal.Ypres and the Battles of Ypres | Unknown
It was by way of reprisal that the Germans destroyed the chateau of the district, which belonged to me.Maupassant Original Short Stories (180), Complete | Guy de Maupassant
British Dictionary definitions for reprisal
(often plural) retaliatory action against an enemy in wartime, such as the execution of prisoners of war, destruction of property, etc
the act or an instance of retaliation in any form
(formerly) the forcible seizure of the property or subjects of one nation by another
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
Cultural definitions for reprisal
An act by which a nation seeks, short of war, to redress a wrong committed against it by another nation. Boycotts and blockades are common forms of reprisal.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.