• WordNet 3.6
    • v retaliate make a counterattack and return like for like, especially evil for evil "The Empire strikes back","The Giants struck back and won the opener","The Israeli army retaliated for the Hamas bombing"
    • v retaliate take revenge for a perceived wrong "He wants to avenge the murder of his brother"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Ghengis Kahn's first conquered land was an act of retaliation. Kahn sent a group of traders on a peaceful mission to Transoxiana. The governor there beheaded their leader and sent the others back to Kahn with their beards cut off. So Kahn attacked them and continued to onward until most of Asia and Europe were his.
    • v. i Retaliate To return like for like; specifically, to return evil for evil; as, to retaliate upon an enemy.
    • v. t Retaliate To return the like for; to repay or requite by an act of the same kind; to return evil for (evil). [Now seldom used except in a bad sense "One ambassador sent word to the duke's son that his visit should be retaliated .""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."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • retaliate To return in kind; repay or requite by an act of the same kind: now seldom or never used except in the sense of returning evil for evil: as, to retaliate injuries.
    • retaliate To return like for like; especially (now usually), to return evil for evil.
    • retaliate Synonyms See revenge, n.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Retaliate rē-tal′i-āt to return like for like: to repay
    • v.i Retaliate to return like for like
    • ***


  • John Foster Dulles
    John Foster Dulles
    “Our capacity to retaliate must be, and is, massive in order to deter all forms of aggression.”
  • King Jr. Martin Luther
    “Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.”
  • Albert Camus
    “Retaliation is related to nature and instinct, not to law. Law, by definition, cannot obey the same rules as nature.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. retaliatus, p. p. of retaliare, to retaliate; pref. re-, re- + a word akin to talio, talion, retaliation. Cf. Talion


In literature:

He was a great, weary, passionate child, whose pride had been stung, who but awaited an opportunity to retaliate.
"Where the Trail Divides" by Will Lillibridge
Douglas, on his part, was not slow to retaliate.
"Abraham Lincoln, A History, Volume 2" by John George Nicolay and John Hay
Forbearance prevents us from retaliating their injuries.
"The Illustrated London Reading Book" by Various
Incensed at Krishna's action, Indra has retaliated by sending storms of rain.
"The Loves of Krishna in Indian Painting and Poetry" by W. G. Archer
"A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand in 1827" by Augustus Earle
The only way to stop the enemy's barbarities is to meet them with retaliation.
"A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times Volume IV. of VI." by Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot
Any retaliation by him would destroy the formal, punitive character which was the essence of the transaction.
"The Uttermost Farthing" by R. Austin Freeman
This is but retaliating upon them, and treating them as they treat others.
"The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3" by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele
Retaliate upon them, and capture their rafts and weapons.
"Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia] [Volume 2 of 2]" by Phillip Parker King
Later, Goldsmith retaliated with epitaphs on his circle of club friends.
"The World's Greatest Books, Vol IX." by Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton
Natchez was shelled for two hours, in retaliation for this outrage.
"Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field" by Thomas W. Knox
He takes work which no white man in a new country will handle, and when kicked by the mean white will not grossly retaliate.
"Letters of Travel (1892-1913)" by Rudyard Kipling
So, as they've been hectored themselves, they've taken up hectoring tactics in retaliation.
"The Precipice" by Elia Wilkinson Peattie
In turn, this also was retaliated, it is said.
"Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War" by Herman Melville
George, who was just Frank's age, was a jolly, good-natured boy, and would suffer almost any indignity rather than retaliate.
"Frank, the Young Naturalist" by Harry Castlemon
As a matter of course the affair did not end there: "Lizard's" tribe were bound in honour to retaliate.
"The Long White Cloud" by William Pember Reeves
This outrage is not resented by the relations of the female, who only retaliate by a similar outrage when they find it in their power.
"An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. 1" by David Collins
Indian atrocities, for instance, with which he was familiar, never led him to retaliate in kind.
"George Washington, Vol. II" by Henry Cabot Lodge
You send her an Astor, and she retaliates with a Stead.
"Modern Eloquence: Vol III, After-Dinner Speeches P-Z" by Various
Terror begets terror, and ruthlessness arouses retaliation in kind.
"Star Born" by Andre Norton

In poetry:

"Il sait que les foulards de soie
Give no retaliating whack -
Les gigots morts n'ont pas de quoi -
Le plomb don't ever hit you back."
"Thomas Winterbottom Hance" by William Schwenck Gilbert
But Carpenter, who, lost in thought,
Other retaliation sought
Determin'd he would soon cashier
Aldworth of thirty pounds a-year--
Jump'd in a pond, where he was drown'd;
There full revenge on Aldworth found.
"The Cuckold" by William Hutton

In news:

Kenya has suffered a string of deadly attacks, mostly blamed on Somali militants and their sympathizers in retaliation for Kenya 's deployment of troops in neighboring Somalia last year to drive out al Shabaab rebels, who vowed to retaliate.
Foreign embassies in Tehran potential targets for retaliation.
South Korea says it will retaliate if provoked.
Trailing by three points at halftime, the Roadrunners retaliated with an insired performance from quarterback Eric Soza.
Critics say the killings invite retaliation by militants and encourage them to try to assassinate Israeli leaders.
Retaliation, mayoral meddling alleged in City Colleges case.
Federal mining regulators requested a record number of temporary reinstatements for miners who were retaliated against for reporting unsafe working conditions.
Israel strikes Syrian armor in retaliation after mortar shells land in Golan.
Updated Friday, Oct 5, 2012, at 10:21 a.m. Man shot at hotel on North Broadway won't talk to police, fearing retaliation.
No Fear: A Whistleblower's Triumph Over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA – Part III.
Pharmacist says traffic stop was drug task force retaliation.
North Korea criticized the US on Monday for positioning missile defense systems around Hawaii, calling the deployment part of a plot to attack the regime and saying it would bolster its nuclear arsenal in retaliation.
State Police officer alleges retaliation.
Preventing retaliation has to be approached from a cultural point of view linked to improving business and professional outcomes first and foremost.
In retaliation, the city determined the properties were "blighted" and eviction proceedings began.

In science:

Edelman et al. argue that an equilibrium where some agent i envies some other agent j assigned the next higher slot is not a reasonable rest point of the bidding process, because agent i might increase the price paid by agent j without the danger of harming his own utility should j retaliate.
Simplicity-Expressiveness Tradeoffs in Mechanism Design
First, it is not clear why agent j should retaliate, especially if he is worse off by doing so.
Simplicity-Expressiveness Tradeoffs in Mechanism Design
The opponents may adopt strategies that depend on the partner’s last move, like those with the telling names “bully” or “retaliator”. A pattern emerges similar to the findings of the simpler hawk-dove game: aggressive strategies fare less well than “limited war” strategies if the cost of injury is high.
Biological Evolution and Statistical Physics
Nowak and Sigmund [121] point out that if individuals “err” sometimes by not behaving according to their strategy, TFT has the disadvantage of leading to a long round of retaliations.
Biological Evolution and Statistical Physics
Punishment enables cooperators to retaliate against noncooperating defectors and therefore seems capable of stabilizing cooperation.
Stochastic evolutionary game dynamics
Punish or perish? retaliation and collaboration among humans.
Stochastic evolutionary game dynamics