AskDefine | Define retribution

Dictionary Definition



1 a justly deserved penalty [syn: requital]
2 the act of correcting for your wrongdoing
3 the act of taking revenge (harming someone in retaliation for something harmful that they have done) especially in the next life; "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord"--Romans
1219; "For vengeance I would do nothing. This nation is too great to look for mere revenge"--James Garfield; "he swore vengeance on the man who betrayed him"; "the swiftness of divine retribution" [syn: vengeance, payback]

User Contributed Dictionary



Latin, from retribuere 'assign again'.


  • /ˌrɛtrɪˈbjuʃɒn/
  • SAMPA: /%rEtrI"bjuSQn/


  1. Punishment inflicted in the spirit of moral outrage or personal vengeance.


Punishment inflicted in the spirit of moral outrage or personal vengeance

Extensive Definition

Retribution may refer to:
retribution in Chinese: 報應 (消歧義)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

affliction, amends, atonement, avengement, avenging, blood money, castigation, chastening, chastisement, comeuppance, compensation, condign punishment, consideration, correction, counterblow, damages, desert, deserts, disciplinary measures, discipline, ferule, guerdon, honorarium, indemnification, indemnity, infliction, judgment, judicial punishment, just deserts, justice, making good, meed, nemesis, pains, pains and punishments, pay, paying back, payment, penal retribution, penalty, penology, price, punishment, punition, quid pro quo, quittance, recompense, redress, refund, reimbursement, remuneration, reparation, repayment, reprisal, requital, requitement, restitution, retaliation, retributive justice, return, revanche, revenge, reward, salvage, satisfaction, scourge, smart money, solatium, squaring, trial, tribulation, vengeance, visitation, well-deserved punishment, wergild, what is due, what is merited, what-for
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