Definition of retribute in US English:

retribute

adjective

rare
  • Only in "retribute justice": = "retributive justice".

verb

rare
  • 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.

Origin

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.

Pronunciation

retribute

/ˈrɛtrɪbjuːt/