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tit for tat

noun
1.
with an equivalent given in retaliation, as a blow for a blow, repartee, etc.:
He answered their insults tit for tat.
Origin
1550-1560
1550-60; perhaps variant of earlier tip for tap
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for tit for tat

tit for tat

noun
1.
an equivalent given in return or retaliation; blow for blow
Word Origin
C16: from earlier tip for tap
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 tit for tat

1550s, possibly an alteration of tip for tap "blow for blow," from tip (v.3) "tap" + tap "touch lightly." Perhaps infl. by tit (n.2).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tit for tat in Culture

tit for tat definition


Giving back exactly what one receives: “If you hit me, I'll do the same to you; it's tit for tat.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with tit for tat

tit for tat

Repayment in kind, retaliation, as in If he won't help with the beach clean-up, I won't run a booth at the bake sale; that's tit for tat. This term is believed to be a corruption of tip for tap, which meant “a blow for a blow.” Its current form dates from the mid-1500s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Difficulty index for tit for tat

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Word Value for tit

3
3
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