(Latin: talis, "such like" or "such"; talio, "punishment equal in severity to the wrong that occasioned it" or "exaction of payment or payment in kind")

lex talionis
The law of retaliation.

This phrase refers to the practice of punishment in kind, dating back at least to the Old Testament, yet much in vogue today in some societies; in other words, "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth".

retaliate (verb), retaliates; retaliated; retaliating
1. To strike back or to return like for like: to repay or to reciprocate an attacker with punishment of the same kind for an injury or wrongdoing; to revenge: When Peggy's brother made a rude remark to her, she retaliated by saying, "And the same to you!"

Sanctions by one country on other nations will result in their retaliating on the economy of the original sanction maker.

2. Etymology: from Latin retaliare; from re-, "back" + talio, "exact payment in kind"; so, it meant "to give tit for tat, to return like for like."

In legal usage, it meant "to inflict punishment similar and equal to the injury that had been inflicted."

To return the same action.
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retaliation (s) (noun), retaliations (pl)
1. Something which is done to someone who has hurt another person or who has treated him or her badly: The workers in the company threatened a strike in retaliation for the company's plan to reduce wages and health benefits in order to avoid going broke.
2. Etymology: from Latin retaliare, "to pay back in kind"; from re-, "back" + talio, "exaction of payment in kind."
The act of returning evil for evil.
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retaliative (adjective)
Related to getting revenge or doing something to another person which he or she has done to the other person; a reprisal or returning evil for evil, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth: "The retaliative comments by Rebecca were her responses to the severe criticisms made by Ron, another worker, regarding her higher wage level."
retaliator (s), retaliators (pl) (nouns)
A person who tries to take vengeance on someone who has committed some perceived injury, insult, or wrong: "The talk-show host became a retaliator when Shirley called and criticized his vulgar language and political view points."
retaliatory (adjective)
A reference to repaying someone back for an injury, an insult, or attack: "Some regimes have been making retaliatory attacks against their citizens who have been demonstrating against their political systems."

"Arnold responded with retaliatory remarks regarding the criticisms of his efforts to run for mayor of the city."

unretaliated (adjective)
Not doing anything harmful nor unpleasant to someone who has done either of these things to another person: "Nancy made an unretaliated response to Janet's harsh criticism about being overweight by ignoring what was said and making positive statements regarding Janet's efforts to improve her physical condition."

An-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye-for-an-eye ... ends in making everybody blind.

—Mahatma Gandhi
unretaliating (adjective)
Avoiding threatening or taking any severe action regarding something that is strongly opposed: "The leaders of the union were trying unretaliating discussions with the company's representative in hopes of avoiding a strike which could be economically harmful for everyone concerned."
unretaliative (adjective)
Being forgiving and doing good to anyone who is repulsive or insulting: In the Bible, there are several unretaliative actions that are suggested for people to follow; a few of which are presented below:
  • "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy." (Matthew 5:7)
  • "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist someone who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. (Matthew 5: 39-41)
  • "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (Matthew 5: 43-45)
  • Then Peter came up and said to Him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him,"I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven." (Matthew 18: 21-22)
  • Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; never be conceited. Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all. (Romans 12:14-18)
  • Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)
—Compiled from The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version;
Thomas Nelson & Sons; New York; 1953.