Definition of retortion in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /rɪˈtɔːʃ(ə)n/

Entry from British & World English dictionary


[mass noun]
(In international law) retaliation by a state on another’s subjects.
Example sentences
  • It followed that retortion could not always be regarded as a legitimate action from the standpoint of international law.
  • A 1447 toll on the Prussian towns' vessels was rather in the nature of retortion than the pursuit of a consistent policy.


Late 16th century (in the sense 'bending or turning backwards'): from retort1, perhaps on the pattern of contortion.

Words that rhyme with retortion

abortion, apportion, caution, contortion, distortion, extortion, portion, proportion, torsion
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.