Reprisal Re*pris"al (r?-priz"al), n. [F. repr?saille, It. ripresaglia, rappresaglia, LL. reprensaliae, fr. L. reprehendere, reprehensum. See {Reprehend}, {Reprise}.] 1. The act of taking from an enemy by way of reteliation or indemnity. [1913 Webster]

Debatable ground, on which incursions and reprisals continued to take place. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

2. Anything taken from an enemy in retaliation. [1913 Webster]

3. 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. --Vattel (Trans.) [1913 Webster]

4. Any act of retaliation. --Waterland. [1913 Webster]

{Letters of marque and reprisal}. See under {Marque}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • reprisal — re·pri·sal /ri prī zəl/ n [Anglo French reprisaile reprisaille, from Middle French, from Old Italian ripresaglia, from ripreso, past participle of riprendere to take back, from ri back + prendere to take, from Latin prehendere] 1 a: the act or… …   Law dictionary

  • reprisal — early 15c., seizing property or citizens of another nation in retaliation for loss inflicted on one s own, from Anglo Fr. reprisaille (mid 14c.), from O.Fr. reprisaille, from early It. ripresaglia, from ripreso, pp. of riprendere take back, from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • reprisal — *retaliation, retribution, revenge, vengeance …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • reprisal — [n] revenge avengement, avenging, counterblow, counterstroke, eye for an eye*, paying back, requital, retaliation, retribution, vengeance; concept 384 Ant. kindness, sympathy …   New thesaurus

  • reprisal — ► NOUN 1) an act of retaliation. 2) historical the forcible seizure of a foreign subject or their goods as an act of retaliation. ORIGIN Old French reprisaille, from Latin reprehendere seize, check, rebuke …   English terms dictionary

  • reprisal — [ri prī′zəl] n. [ME reprisail < MFr reprisaille < It rappresaglia < riprendere, to take back < L reprehendere: see REPREHEND] 1. Historical the forcible seizure of property or subjects in retaliation for an injury inflicted by another …   English World dictionary

  • reprisal — n. 1) to carry out reprisals 2) a harsh reprisal 3) a reprisal against, on 4) in reprisal for 5) (misc.) by way of reprisal * * * [rɪ praɪz(ə)l] on (misc.) by way of reprisal a harsh reprisal a reprisal against in reprisal for …   Combinatory dictionary

  • reprisal — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ bloody, brutal, savage, violent ▪ military ▪ The government responded with harsh military reprisals. ▪ economic …   Collocations dictionary

  • Reprisal — Not to be confused with a reprise. In warfare, a reprisal is a limited and deliberate violation of the laws of war to punish an enemy for breaking the laws of war. A legally executed reprisal is not an .To be legally justified, a reprisal can… …   Wikipedia

  • reprisal — UK [rɪˈpraɪz(ə)l] / US noun [countable/uncountable, often plural] Word forms reprisal : singular reprisal plural reprisals something unpleasant that is done to punish an enemy or opponent because of something bad that they have done to you… …   English dictionary