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.
Retribūtiō denotes repayment but connotes payback. Retribūtiō is a derivative of the Latin verb retribuere “to return (money) in due turn, hand down a reward or punishment,” a compound of the Latin prefix re- “back, again, back again” and the verb tribuere “to share, share out, apportion.”
From tribuere is derived the noun tribūtus “a levy, tax, allocation,” which the Romans interpreted as a derivation of tribūtum “a tax, levy, a war tax paid by Roman citizens according to their tribes” ( tribus ). Tribus, one of the three original, traditional ethnic divisions of the Roman state, is a derivative of trēs “three.”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use retribution in a sentence
“Amazon is throwing down their throat that the union is going to take your money,” said a pro-union worker at the Bessemer facility, who spoke on the condition of anonymity over fear of retribution.Amazon’s anti-union blitz stalks Alabama warehouse workers everywhere, even the bathroom | Jay Greene | February 2, 2021 | Washington Post
The player is one of several members of Middle Tennessee’s football program to speak on the condition of anonymity to avoid possible retribution.A college football coach’s season at war with the coronavirus — and his own school | Kent Babb | January 19, 2021 | Washington Post
Lynn, for example, said he is seeing calls for violent retribution continue to spread on conservative websites like Newsmax and on extremist social media apps like Gab and Parler.Americans across the political spectrum fear what the Capitol attack portends | Annie Gowen, Jenna Johnson, Holly Bailey | January 12, 2021 | Washington Post
Beijing has opposed the resolution, dishing out retribution against Australia for its role in spearheading the movement.WHO team investigating the origin of COVID-19 will enter China after delays | Eamon Barrett | January 11, 2021 | Fortune
This contrasts with the more traditional criminal justice approach of retribution, and firms like Designing Justice believe physical design can increase the effectiveness of this alternative approach.How physical spaces can be designed to foster peacemaking in the criminal justice system | Aric Jenkins | December 9, 2020 | Fortune
Like many other Pakistani Taliban, Jamal has his own horror stories to tell, which he believes can justify any bloody 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 | David Freeman | December 13, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 | Marlow Stern | September 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The lane closures on the bridge last September were seemingly done to exact political retribution, Shultz and company said.
That evening Malcolm witnessed the plundering of Fattehpore, which was permitted in retribution for its recent rebellion.The Red Year | Louis Tracy
As for my share, retribution has held its heavy hand upon me; it is upon me still, Heaven knows.Elster's Folly | Mrs. Henry Wood
In the case of the latter, however, retribution was only visited upon the after-generation of smokers.A Cursory History of Swearing | Julian Sharman
Moreover, there was danger of retribution: settlements not so far off; soldiers still nearer.Overland | John William De Forest
Desolation broods in yonder sad city—solemn retribution hath avenged our dishonored banner!The Flag Replaced on Sumter | William A. Spicer
British Dictionary definitions for retribution
the act of punishing or taking vengeance for wrongdoing, sin, or injury
punishment or vengeance
- retributive (rɪˈtrɪbjʊtɪv) or rare retributory, adjective
- retributively, adverb
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