- Retaliate is defined as to respond to a wrong by returning the wrong with an equally wrong action.
An example of to retaliate is for a person to punch someone who has hit him.
Origin: from Late Latin retaliatus, past participle of retaliare, to require, retaliate from Classical Latin re-, back plush talio, punishment inch(es) kind, akin to Welsh tāl, compensation
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verb re·tal·i·at·ed, re·tal·i·at·ing, re·tal·i·ates verb, intransitive
Origin: Late Latin retāliāre, retāliāt- : Latin re-, re- + Latin tāliō, punishment in kind; see telə- in Indo-European roots.
- re·talˌi·aˈtion noun
- re·talˈi·aˌtive, re·talˈi·a·toˌry adjective
- re·talˈi·aˌtor noun