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

n a justly deserved penalty

Type of:
a payment required for not fulfilling a contract

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

n the act of correcting for your wrongdoing

Type of:
correction, rectification
the act of offering an improvement to replace a mistake; setting right

Sign up, it's free!

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