reprisal


reprisal

noun

  1. (in warfare) retaliation against an enemy, for injuries received, by the infliction of equal or greater injuries.
  2. an act or instance of retaliation.
  3. the action or practice of using force, short of war, against another nation, to secure redress of a grievance.
  4. the forcible seizure of property or subjects in retaliation.

noun

  1. (often plural) retaliatory action against an enemy in wartime, such as the execution of prisoners of war, destruction of property, etc
  2. the act or an instance of retaliation in any form
  3. (formerly) the forcible seizure of the property or subjects of one nation by another
n.

early 15c., “seizing property or citizens of another nation in retaliation for loss inflicted on one’s own,” from Anglo-French reprisaille (14c.), from Old French reprisaille (Modern French représaille), from early Italian ripresaglia, from ripreso, past participle of riprendere “take back,” from Latin reprendere, earlier reprehendere (see reprehend). General sense of “retaliation” is from 1710.

An act by which a nation seeks, short of war, to redress a wrong committed against it by another nation. Boycotts and blockades are common forms of reprisal.

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