View synonyms for retaliate


[ ri-tal-ee-eyt ]

verb (used without object)

, re·tal·i·at·ed, re·tal·i·at·ing.
  1. to return like for like, especially evil for evil:

    to retaliate for an injury.

    Synonyms: reciprocate, repay, counter

verb (used with object)

, re·tal·i·at·ed, re·tal·i·at·ing.
  1. to requite or make return for (a wrong or injury) with the like.


/ rɪˈtælɪˌeɪt /


  1. intr to take retributory action, esp by returning some injury or wrong in kind
  2. intr to cast (accustations) back upon a person
  3. rare.
    tr to avenge (an injury, wrong, etc)

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Derived Forms

  • reˈtaliˌator, noun
  • reˈtaliative, adjective
  • reˌtaliˈation, noun

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Other Words From

  • re·tal·i·a·tive re·tal·i·a·to·ry [ri-, tal, -ee-, uh, -tawr-ee], adjective
  • re·tal·i·a·tor noun
  • un·re·tal·i·at·ed adjective
  • un·re·tal·i·at·ing adjective
  • un·re·tal·i·a·tive adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of retaliate1

First recorded in 1605–15; from Late Latin retāliātus (past participle of retāliāre ), equivalent to re- re- + tāli(s) “such, of such a nature” + -ātus -ate 1

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Word History and Origins

Origin of retaliate1

C17: from Late Latin retāliāre , from Latin re- + tālis of such kind

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Example Sentences

We have already reported on failures in testing, the effectiveness of popular hand sanitizers and hospitals retaliating against medical providers for bringing their own masks to work.

Starting in 2012, workers at McDonald’s franchises claimed they were fired or otherwise retaliated against for their involvement in protests seeking union representation and higher wages as part of the “Fight for $15” campaign.

Yet apart from propaganda-laced vitriol against the United States in its state media, China hasn’t meaningfully retaliated so far.

From Ozy

Boston went on to play a critical role in American History, as the American Revolution erupted in Boston, after the British retaliated against the Americans for the Boston Tea Party, and the patriots fought back.

Carson later added Brady to his complaint and alleged his boss and fellow administrators created a hostile work environment for him, retaliated against him for filing the complaint and discriminated against him.

Pyongyang has given the Obama administration no choice but to retaliate now by imposing sanctions or even an embargo.

Hamas is firing missiles and begging Israel to retaliate so they could use the images as propaganda.

Nuclear weapons could prove the only way for it to retaliate in-kind, and nobody wants that.

A frightened country could be prompted to quickly retaliate with nuclear weapons.

At least some members of Congress are looking to retaliate in kind.

These associations showed the English manufacturers that Ireland could retaliate upon them.

Please give my love to all your people, and forgive my intolerably long letters—or retaliate in kind.

She dropped her bridle-reins, springing back a quick step, turning her eyes about for some weapon by which she might retaliate.

The fleet of Sator tried to retaliate, but the Nansalians were prepared for them.

The representation in the House would surely suffer by his action, because in this way only could the offended people retaliate.


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