retribution

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

Latin, from retribuere (assign again).

PronunciationEdit

  • IPA(key): /ˌɹɛtrɪˈbjuʃɒn/

NounEdit

retribution (plural retributions)

  1. Punishment inflicted in the spirit of moral outrage or personal vengeance.
    • 1983, Richard A. Posner, The economics of justice, page 208:
      Whereas retribution focuses on the offender's wrong, retaliation focuses on the impulse of the victim (or of those who sympathize with him) to strike back at the offender.
    • 1999, Barbara Hanawalt, Medieval crime and social control, pg. 73
    1. Revenge is for an injury; retribution is for a wrong.
    2. Retribution sets an internal limit to the amount of the punishment according to the seriousness of the wrong; revenge need not.
    3. Revenge is personal; the agent of retribution need have no special or personal tie to the victim of the wrong for which he exacts retribution.
    4. Revenge involves a particular emotional tone, pleasure in the suffering of another, while retribution need involve no emotional tone.

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Last modified on 3 April 2014, at 09:23