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revenge, forgive, pardon, reconcile


Crisis and Opposition, Dominance and Dissent, Turmoil and Treachery, Fear and Ferocity, Hegemony and Hierarchies, Endurance and Resilience, Domination and Power, Recollect and Ruminate, Reactions and Response, Hostility and Dispute



How to pronounce retaliate (audio)


Dictionary definition of retaliate

To respond to an action or event, usually negative, with a similar action or event, often in a vengeful or aggressive manner.
"He threatens to retaliate if they continue to provoke him."

Detailed meaning of retaliate

Retaliation can take various forms, such as physical violence, verbal attacks, legal action, or economic sanctions. The purpose of retaliation is often to seek revenge, defend oneself or one's interests, or deter future aggression. Retaliation can occur in personal or professional relationships, as well as in international affairs between nations. It is important to note that retaliation is not always a proportionate or justified response, and can lead to a cycle of violence or escalation.

Example sentences containing retaliate

1. The company threatened to retaliate with legal action if the competitor didn't cease its patent infringement.
2. She chose not to retaliate against her rude coworker, instead focusing on professionalism.
3. The nation vowed to retaliate swiftly in response to the unprovoked attack.
4. He decided to retaliate by exposing the truth about his deceitful ex-partner.
5. The superhero refused to retaliate with violence, opting for a peaceful resolution.
6. Despite the insult, he resisted the urge to retaliate with hurtful words.

History and etymology of retaliate

The verb 'retaliate' derives from the Latin word 'retaliare,' which is a combination of 're-' meaning 'back' or 'again' and 'taliare,' meaning 'to cut' or 'to take as an equivalent.' The concept of 'retaliare' involved the idea of giving back or returning something in kind, often used in the context of vengeance or retribution. This etymology reflects the essence of 'retaliate' as taking action in response to a negative event by responding with a similar action, typically done in a vengeful or aggressive manner. Over time, 'retaliate' has become the word we use to describe such retaliatory actions in English, emphasizing the idea of returning harm or negative consequences in response to perceived wrongdoing.

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Further usage examples of retaliate

1. The team promised to retaliate on the field after a controversial referee decision.
2. Diplomats hoped to de-escalate the situation, avoiding any need to retaliate militarily.
3. The organization warned against retaliating against whistleblowers, promoting transparency.
4. The bullied student reported the harassment rather than retaliating physically.
5. Leaders urged restraint, discouraging nations from retaliating in the midst of the crisis.
6. They decide not to retaliate against the insult.
7. The boxer prepares to retaliate with a powerful punch.
8. She chooses to retaliate by ignoring their mean comments.
9. The nation vows to retaliate against any act of aggression.
10. He resists the urge to retaliate and walks away calmly.
11. The company warns competitors not to retaliate against their new product launch.
12. She refrains from retaliating and instead seeks peaceful resolution.
13. The army is ready to retaliate if attacked.
14. He urges his followers not to retaliate with violence.
15. The victim of cyberbullying decides not to retaliate online.
16. She refuses to retaliate and chooses forgiveness instead.
17. The government warns of severe consequences if any neighboring country retaliates.
18. He believes in turning the other cheek instead of retaliating.
19. The organization condemns retaliating acts of revenge.
20. She suppresses the desire to retaliate and focuses on personal growth.
21. The coach instructs the team not to retaliate to the opponent's aggressive play.
22. He understands the importance of diplomacy over retaliating with force.
23. The community advocates for peaceful solutions rather than retaliating with violence.
24. She resists the temptation to retaliate and opts for understanding and empathy.

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