Definition of reprisal noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//rɪˈpraɪzl//
; NAmE NAmE//rɪˈpraɪzl//
[countable, uncountable] Terrorism
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a violent or aggressive act towards somebody because of something bad that they have done towards you synonym retaliation They did not want to give evidence for fear of reprisals. They shot ten hostages in reprisal for the assassination of their leader. CollocationsWar and peaceStarting a war declare/​make/​wage war (on somebody/​something) go to war (against/​with somebody) cause/​spark/​provoke/​foment/​quell unrest incite/​lead/​crush/​suppress a revolt/​rebellion launch/​mount/​carry out a surprise/​terrorist attack prevent/​halt/​represent an escalation of the conflict be torn apart by/​be on the brink of civil war enter/​invade/​occupy somebody’s territory lead/​launch/​resist/​repel an invasionMilitary operations adopt/​develop/​implement/​pursue a military strategy carry out/​execute/​perform military operations/​manoeuvres/(especially US English) maneuvers send/​deploy/​station/​pull back/​withdraw troops go on/​fly/​carry out a reconnaissance/​rescue mission train/​equip/​deploy army/​military/​combat units lead/​launch/​conduct a raid/​a surprise attack/​an (air/​airborne/​amphibious) assault (on somebody) employ/​use guerrilla tactics conduct/​wage biological/​guerrilla warfare fight/​crush/​defeat the rebels/​the insurgency suffer/​inflict a crushing defeat achieve/​win a decisive victory halt/​stop the British/​German/​Russian advance order/​force a retreatFighting join/​serve in the army/​navy/​air force be/​go/​remain/​serve on active duty serve/​complete/​return from a tour of duty be sent to the front (line) attack/​strike/​engage/​defeat/​kill/​destroy the enemy see/​report/​be engaged in heavy fighting call for/​be met with armed resistance come under heavy/​machine-gun/​mortar fire fire a machine-gun/​mortar shells/​rockets (at somebody/​something) shoot a rifle/​a pistol/​bullets/​missiles launch/​fire a cruise/​ballistic/​anti-tank missile use biological/​chemical/​nuclear weapons inflict/​suffer/​sustain heavy losses/​casualties be hit/​killed by enemy/​friendly/​artillery fire become/​be held as a prisoner of warCivilians in war harm/​kill/​target/​protect innocent/​unarmed civilians cause/​avoid/​limit/​minimize civilian casualties/​collateral damage impose/​enforce/​lift a curfew engage in/​be a victim of ethnic cleansing be sent to an internment/​a concentration camp accept/​house/​resettle refugees fleeing from war fear/​threaten military/​violent reprisals commit/​be accused of war crimes/​crimes against humanity/​genocideMaking peace make/​bring/​win/​achieve/​maintain/​promote peace call for/​negotiate/​broker/​declare a ceasefire/​a temporary truce sign a ceasefire agreement call for/​bring/​put an end to hostilities demand/​negotiate/​accept the surrender of somebody/​something establish/​send (in) a peacekeeping force negotiate/​conclude/​ratify/​sign/​accept/​reject/​break/​violate a peace treaty See related entries: Terrorism Word Origin late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French reprisaille, from medieval Latin reprisalia (neuter plural), based on Latin repraehens- ‘seized’, from the verb repraehendere ‘seize, check, rebuke’, from re- (expressing intensive force) + prehendere ‘seize’. The current sense dates from the early 18th cent.Extra examples She tried to persuade the soldiers that they would not suffer reprisals if they surrendered. The gang threatened to take reprisals against them. The government responded with harsh military reprisals. The people live in fear of political reprisals. Workers won’t face reprisals for their decisions. boycotts and economic reprisals reprisals against witnesses for the evidence they have given reprisals from angry fans Several people were killed in further reprisals against the villages. They were frightened to talk publicly for fear of reprisals.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: reprisal