Definition of retaliate in English:

retaliate

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1Make an attack in return for a similar attack.

    ‘the blow stung and she retaliated immediately’
    • ‘A company can be ordered to pay substantial damages, including back pay, for retaliating against whistle-blowers.’
    • ‘Surprised, she danced back a step, then retaliated with an attack again absorbed by my shield.’
    • ‘I should have been prepared for her to retaliate and take revenge on me.’
    • ‘At lunch, someone had flicked a spoonful of peas at Maya, and she had retaliated by chucking the rest of her lasagne at Travis Jones, the shooting guard for the varsity team.’
    • ‘I had expected them to immediately retaliate with nasty comments.’
    • ‘The tiger only learned to avoid people when their abilities to retaliate increased over the last two centuries.’
    • ‘She had retaliated by pretending not to notice, chatting enthusiastically with Colin and laughing whenever he said even the slightest thing funny.’
    • ‘The five retaliated, attacking with their weapons and powers.’
    • ‘We're not doing this to be retaliating or for retribution or revenge.’
    • ‘Delia and Sam tried to stop him but he immediately got back up in attempt to retaliate.’
    • ‘The other guards quickly jumped to attention and retaliated with counter-fire.’
    • ‘Cecil watched his opponent warily, ready to retaliate at the merest hint of an attack.’
    • ‘In the formulation presented here, if a firm cheats on a scheme to restrict output, the cheating is detected after one period of cheating, and other firms retaliate immediately.’
    • ‘Before he had time to retaliate or respond, she picked up her tray and retreated towards the door that led to the kitchen.’
    • ‘Miller, 36, says she complained more than a dozen times to bosses at all levels but was retaliated against for doing so.’
    • ‘Dupree slapped Jericho, and Jericho retaliated with punches, elbows and chops.’
    • ‘Feodor moved quickly to the left to dodge the attack and quickly retaliated.’
    • ‘George heaped scorn upon what he considered a pseudoscience, and the economists retaliated in kind.’
    • ‘Shaking the snow from his hair, Devon immediately moved to retaliate, bombarding Max with amazingly well aimed snowballs until he took refuge behind his father.’
    • ‘If insulted, he retaliated swiftly and turned mockery against its instigator.’
    fight back, strike back, hit back, respond, react, reply, reciprocate, counterattack, return fire, return the compliment, put up a fight, take the bait, rise to the bait, return like for like, get back at someone, get, give tit for tat, give as good as one gets, let someone see how it feels, give someone a dose of their own medicine, give someone a taste of their own medicine
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1archaic with object Repay (an injury or insult) in kind.
      ‘they used their abilities to retaliate the injury’
      • ‘Twelve years after, in 1111, the Ulidians retaliated and avenged the insult offered to their honour on Crew Hill by defeating the Kinel-Owen at Tullahoge (in Co. Tyrone, above Dungannon), and cut down their sacred trees.’
      • ‘Gilbert, earl of Glocester, the greatest baron of the kingdom, had espoused the king's daughter; and being elated by that alliance, and still more by his own power, which, he thought, set him above the laws, he permitted his bailiffs and vassals to commit violence on the lands of Humphrey Bohun, earl of Hereford, who retaliated the injury by like violence.’

Origin

Early 17th century: from Latin retaliat- ‘returned in kind’, from the verb retaliare, from re- ‘back’ + talis ‘such’.

Pronunciation

retaliate

/rɪˈtalɪeɪt/