Share this entry

Share this page

retortion

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

Definition of retortion in English:

noun

[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.

Origin

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

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day jaunt
Pronunciation: dʒɔːnt
noun
a short excursion or journey made for pleasure