- Retribution is defined as something done to get back at someone or the act of punishing someone for their actions.
An example of retribution is when someone gets the death penalty for committing murder.
Origin of retributionMiddle English retribucioun ; from Old French retribution ; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin retributio ; from Classical Latin retributus, past participle of retribuere, to repay ; from re-, back + tribuere, to pay: see tribute
- Punishment administered in return for a wrong committed.
- Theology Punishment or reward distributed in a future life based on performance in this one.
Origin of retributionMiddle English retribucion, repayment, reward, from Old French retribution, from Late Latin retribūtiō, retribūtiōn-, from Latin retribūtus, past participle of retribuere, to pay back : re-, re- + tribuere, to grant; see tribe.
- re·trib′u·tive , re·trib′u·to·ry
- Punishment inflicted in the spirit of moral outrage or personal vengeance.
- 1. Revenge is for an injury; retribution is for a wrong.
- 2. Retribution sets an internal limit to the amount of the punishment according to the seriousness of the wrong; revenge need not.
- 3. Revenge is personal; the agent of retribution need have no special or personal tie to the victim of the wrong for which he exacts retribution.
- 4. Revenge involves a particular emotional tone, pleasure in the suffering of another, while retribution need involve no emotional tone.
Latin, from retribuere (“assign again”).