One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A provider of retribution; especially a person or god who exacts retributive justice.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Thomas Adams (1583–1652), Church of England clergyman. From post-classical Latin retributor rewarder (early 3rd cent. in Tertullian) from classical Latin retribūt-, past participial stem of retribuere + -or. Compare French rétributeur, Catalan retribuïdor, Italian retributore.
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