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From Latin retaliatus, past participle of retaliare (to requite, retaliate), from re (back, again) + talis (such).


retaliate (third-person singular simple present retaliates, present participle retaliating, simple past and past participle retaliated)

  1. (intransitive) To do something harmful or negative to get revenge for some harm; to fight back or respond in kind to an injury or affront.
    John insulted Peter to retaliate for Peter's acid remark earlier.
  2. (transitive) To repay or requite by an act of the same kind.
    • Sir T. Herbert
      One ambassador sent word to the duke's son that his visit should be retaliated.
    • Jonathan Swift
      It is unlucky to be obliged to retaliate the injuries of authors, whose works are so soon forgotten that we are in danger of appearing the first aggressors.


Derived termsEdit



  1. ^ Le Trésor de la Langue Française informatisé
  2. ^ Oxford-Paravia Concise - Dizionario Inglese-Italiano e Italiano-Inglese. Edited by Maria Cristina Bareggi. Torino: Paravia, 2003 (in collaboration with Oxford University Press). ISBN 8839551107. Online version here

Further readingEdit