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Line breaks: re|tor¦tion
Pronunciation: /rɪˈtɔːʃ(ə)n

Definition of retortion in English:


[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.

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