9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ri-tal-ee-eyt] /rɪˈtæl iˌeɪt/
verb (used without object), retaliated, retaliating.
to return like for like, especially evil for evil:
to retaliate for an injury.
verb (used with object), retaliated, retaliating.
to requite or make return for (a wrong or injury) with the like.
Origin of retaliate
1605-15; < Late Latin retāliātus (past participle of retāliāre), equivalent to re- re- + tāli(s) such, of such a nature + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
retaliative, retaliatory
[ri-tal-ee-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /rɪˈtæl i əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
retaliator, noun
unretaliated, adjective
unretaliating, adjective
unretaliative, adjective
unretaliatory, adjective
1. counter, repay, reciprocate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for retaliate
  • If the birds find that their eggs have been destroyed or removed from the nest, the cowbirds retaliate, the study says.
  • They coordinate attacks and set traps-they can retaliate.
  • Mounting layoffs due to the economic downturn prompted new fears that workers would retaliate.
  • Failing that, several governments have vowed to take their own legal action or retaliate with countervailing trade measures.
  • We will investigate all complaints and will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.
  • retaliate against a whistleblowers, whether an employee or an applicant.
  • Managers, supervisors or employees who retaliate or attempt to retaliate will be subject to discipline.
  • We have our means to retaliate, maybe politically, maybe in other ways.
British Dictionary definitions for retaliate


(intransitive) to take retributory action, esp by returning some injury or wrong in kind
(intransitive) to cast (accustations) back upon a person
(transitive) (rare) to avenge (an injury, wrong, etc)
Derived Forms
retaliation, noun
retaliative, retaliatory, adjective
retaliator, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Late Latin retāliāre, from Latin re- + tālis of such kind
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for retaliate

1610s, from Latin retaliatus, past participle of retaliare "requite, retaliate" (see retaliation). Related: Retaliated; retaliating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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