- 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 for retaliate on Thesaurus.com
1. counter, repay, reciprocate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for retaliative
The idea of retaliative measures was a product of the brain of Jeff Davis.Company G
A. R. (Albert Rowe) Barlow
The most ancient punishment in English law was retaliative—membrum pro membro, but ultimately at common law fine and imprisonment.
- (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)
C17: from Late Latin retāliāre, from Latin re- + tālis of such kind
Word Origin and History for retaliative
1610s, from Latin retaliatus, past participle of retaliare "requite, retaliate" (see retaliation). Related: Retaliated; retaliating.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper