tit-tat

tit for tat

noun
with an equivalent given in retaliation, as a blow for a blow, repartee, etc.: He answered their insults tit for tat.

Origin:
1550–60; perhaps variant of earlier tip for tap

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Collins
World English Dictionary
tit for tat
 
n
an equivalent given in return or retaliation; blow for blow
 
[C16: from earlier tip for tap]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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