What does reprisal mean?

Definitions for reprisal
rɪˈpraɪ zəlreprisal

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word reprisal.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. reprisalnoun

    a retaliatory action against an enemy in wartime


  1. reprisalnoun

    act of retaliation

  2. Etymology: From French "représailles", formerly "reprisailles", originally from Italian "rappresaglia".

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Reprisalnoun

    Something seized by way of retaliation for robbery or injury.

    Etymology: represalia, low Lat. represaille, Fr.

    The English had great advantage in value of reprisals, as being more strong and active at sea. John Hayward.

    Sense must sure thy safest plunder be,
    Since no reprisals can be made on thee. Alexander Pope.


  1. Reprisal

    A reprisal is a limited and deliberate violation of international law to punish another sovereign state that has already broken them. Since the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions (AP 1), reprisals in the laws of war are extremely limited, as they commonly breach the rights of non-combatants.


  1. reprisal

    Reprisal refers to an act of retaliation or revenge, often in response to an injury or harm received. It can involve actions such as a military retaliation in a conflict, sanctions in politics, or an act of retribution in many other contexts. The aim is usually to discourage or punish certain behaviors or actions.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Reprisalnoun

    the act of taking from an enemy by way of reteliation or indemnity

  2. Reprisalnoun

    anything taken from an enemy in retaliation

  3. Reprisalnoun

    the act of retorting on an enemy by inflicting suffering or death on a prisoner taken from him, in retaliation for an act of inhumanity

  4. Reprisalnoun

    any act of retaliation

  5. Etymology: [F. reprsaille, It. ripresaglia, rappresaglia, LL. reprensaliae, fr. L. reprehendere, reprehensum. See Reprehend, Reprise.]


  1. Reprisal

    A reprisal is a limited and deliberate violation of international law to punish another sovereign state that has already broken them. Reprisals in the laws of war are extremely limited, as they commonly breached the rights of civilians, an action outlawed by the Geneva Conventions. It is not to be confused with retorsions, as these constitute unfriendly acts generally permitted by international law.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Reprisal

    rē-prī′zal, n. a seizing back or in retaliation: the retaking of goods captured by an enemy: anything seized, or inflicted, in retaliation: that which is seized for injury inflicted: (rare) a restitution. [O. Fr. represaille—It. ripresagliaripreso (Fr. reprise), retaken—L. re-pre(he)ndĕre, to seize again.]

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. reprisal

    The taking one thing in satisfaction for another, as the seizing of ships and goods for injury inflicted; a right exerted, though no actual war be commenced. It is authorized by the law of nations if justice has been solemnly called for and denied. The word is synonymous with marque in our admiralty courts.

  2. reprisal

    Is the retaking a vessel from the enemy before she has arrived in any neutral or hostile port. If a vessel thus retaken has been 24 hours in the possession of an enemy, she is deemed a lawful recapture; but if within that time, she is merely detenu, and must be wholly restored to the owner. An amount of salvage is sometimes awarded to the re-captors. Also, if a vessel has from any cause been abandoned by the enemy, before he has taken her into any port, she is to be restored to the original proprietor. (See SALVAGE.)

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. reprisal

    Is the retaking, from an enemy, goods which he has seized, or the capture from him of other goods, as an equivalent for the damage he has wrought.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce reprisal?

How to say reprisal in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of reprisal in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of reprisal in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of reprisal in a Sentence

  1. Ahmed Assaf:

    The people are now terrified. They don't speak up, fearing reprisal. if you look around and see what is going on in the Arab world, you realize how much freedom we enjoy here.

  2. Lee Chang-min:

    An effective compliance program could be operated within the environment, encouraging employees to internally report violation without fearing reprisal. But this is not the case at Korean companies.

  3. Ron Johnson:

    No one should be pressured, coerced, or fear reprisal for refusing treatment, including the Covid-19 vaccine.

  4. Thomas Hughes:

    This international threat to writers and bloggers is an unacceptable attack on freedom of expression, such threats often have a chilling effect on expression, encouraging individuals and organizations to self-censor for fear of violent reprisal.

  5. Special Representative Abdoulaye Bathily:

    The time is for peace. The time is not for senseless killing, retaliation, reprisal.

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Translations for reprisal

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"reprisal." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 29 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/reprisal>.

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    come out into view, as from concealment
    A condemn
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