Retribution is the act of taking revenge. If you pull a prank on someone, expect retribution.

Retribution comes from the Latin for giving back what's due, either reward or punishment. But when we talk about retribution, we only talk about punishment. The old punishment code of "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," is an example of retribution. Some people think about large events like tornados or earthquakes as cosmic retribution for human pride. Some synonyms are compensation, recompense, requital.

Definitions of retribution
  1. noun
    a justly deserved penalty
    synonyms: requital
    see moresee less
    type of:
    a payment required for not fulfilling a contract
  2. noun
    the act of taking revenge (harming someone in retaliation for something harmful that they have done) especially in the next life
    “the swiftness of divine retribution
    synonyms: payback, vengeance
    see moresee less
    type of:
    retaliation, revenge
    action taken in return for an injury or offense
  3. noun
    the act of correcting for your wrongdoing
    see moresee less
    type of:
    correction, rectification
    the act of offering an improvement to replace a mistake; setting right
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week