• synonyms


or re·tor·tion

[ri-tawr-shuh n]
noun International Law.
  1. retaliation or reprisal by one state identical or similar to an act by an offending state, such as high tariffs or discriminating duties.
Show More

Origin of retorsion

1650–60; < Medieval Latin retorsiōn- (stem of retorsiō, variant of retortiō); see retortion
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for retorsion

Historical Examples of retorsion

  • Mallarmé set him to cryptic harmonies, and placed him in a dim rich forest (though he called him a faun; a faun in retorsion).


    James Huneker

  • Although such acts may be met by retorsion, they are not illegal and therefore not delinquent acts.

  • Retorsion, reprisals, pacific blockade, and war will be treated in the second volume of this work.

  • For the application of retorsion is confined to political, and that of reprisals to legal differences.

  • The question when retorsion is and when it is not justified is not one of law, and is difficult to answer.

British Dictionary definitions for retorsion


  1. rare retaliatory action taken by a state whose citizens have been mistreated by a foreign power by treating the subjects of that power similarly; reprisal
Show More

Word Origin for retorsion

C17: from French; see retort 1
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