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reprisal Syllabification: re·pris·al
Pronunciation: /rəˈprīzəl/

Definition of reprisal in English:


1An act of retaliation: three youths died in the reprisals that followed the threat of reprisal
More example sentences
  • No one was arrested in the 1983 incident, but professional reprisals did follow.
  • The Allies, who were at one stage two days’ march from Paris, had circulated details of their planned reprisals, so that the Revolutionaries knew who was to be tortured to death and who merely imprisoned for life.
  • Zimmerman continues: ‘Those people to whom trade, growth and profit count most make the point that economic reprisals are inevitable.’
informal a taste of one's own medicine
1.1 historical The forcible seizure of a foreign subject or their goods as an act of retaliation.


Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French reprisaille, from medieval Latin reprisalia (neuter plural), based on Latin repraehens- 'seized', from the verb reprehendere (see reprehend). The current sense dates from the early 18th century.

Words that rhyme with reprisal

Definition of reprisal in:
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