reprisal

A reprisal is an act of retaliation, especially one committed by one country against another. If you attack your enemy's village and cause lots of damage, expect a reprisal.

Reprisal comes from the French for taking back, and used to mean the seizure of property as a compensation for some earlier loss. Now we use it more in the sense of a retaliatory attack. When Germany bombed London during World War II, the British reprisals included the bombing of Berlin. Reprisal doesn't always have to be about war; you can use it for any act of retaliation.

Definitions of reprisal
1

n a retaliatory action against an enemy in wartime

Type of:
retaliation, revenge
action taken in return for an injury or offense

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.