- requital according to merits or deserts, especially for evil.
- something given or inflicted in such requital.
- Theology. the distribution of rewards and punishments in a future life.
- the act of punishing or taking vengeance for wrongdoing, sin, or injury
- punishment or vengeance
late 14c., “repayment,” from Old French retribution and directly from Latin retributionem (nominative retributio) “recompense, repayment,” noun of action from past participle stem of retribuere “hand back, repay,” from re- “back” (see re-) + tribuere “to assign, allot” (see tribute). Originally “that which is given in return for past good or evil;” restricted modern use of “evil given for evil done” (1560s) is from day of retribution (1520s), in Christian theology the time of divine reward or punishment.