One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Only in "retribute justice": = "retributive justice".
1with object To give (a thing) in return or as a repayment; to inflict (something) on a person in retaliation.
2with object To make appropriate return for; to repay; to recompense or avenge (an injury or offence); to reward (an action, good deed, etc.).
3no object To give something in return; to make an appropriate recompense or repayment; (of God) to deliver the appropriate punishment or reward for past deeds.
Late 17th century; earliest use found in Francis Kirkman (1632–c1680), bookseller and writer. From classical Latin retribūtus, past participle of retribuere retribute<br>late 16th century; earliest use found in Shepardes Kalendar. From classical Latin retribūt-, past participial stem of retribuere to hand back duly (money, or a reward or punishment) from re- + tribuere to give, assign, after retribution.
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