- Reprisal is an act of using force or causing injury for vengeance.
An example of reprisal is when one country bombs another to retaliate for that country's earlier military hostilities.
- Historical the forcible seizure of property or subjects in retaliation for an injury inflicted by another country
- the act or practice of using force, short of war, against another nation to obtain redress of grievances
- injury done, or the doing of injury, in return for injury received; retaliation or an act of retaliation, specif. in war, as the killing of prisoners
Origin: Middle English reprisail from Middle French reprisaille from Italian rappresaglia from riprendere, to take back from Classical Latin reprehendere: see reprehend
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- Retaliation for an injury with the intent of inflicting at least as much injury in return.
- Forcible seizure of an enemy's goods or subjects in retaliation for injuries inflicted.
- The practice of using political or military force without actually resorting to war.
Origin: Middle English reprisail, from Old French reprisaille, from Old Italian ripresaglia, from ripreso, past participle of riprendere, to take back, from Latin reprehendere, reprēndere, to take hold of; see reprehend.
reprisal - Cultural Definition
An act by which a nation seeks, short of war, to redress a wrong committed against it by another nation. Boycotts and blockades are common forms of reprisal.