Reprisal meaning

rĭ-prīzəl
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The act or an instance of retaliating for a loss or injury.
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The act or practice of forcibly seizing an enemy's goods or citizens in retaliation for a loss or injury inflicted.
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The act or practice of using force, short of war, against another nation to obtain redress of grievances.
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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.
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(archaic) The act of taking something from an enemy by way of retaliation or indemnity.
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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.

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(historical) The forcible seizure of property or subjects in retaliation for an injury inflicted by another country.
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An act of retaliation.
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(archaic) Something taken from an enemy in retaliation.
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Origin of reprisal

  • 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 reprehend

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From French "représailles", formerly "reprisailles", originally from Italian "rappresaglia".

    From Wiktionary