Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “retaliatory”


adjective     /rɪˈtæl.i.ə.tər.i/ US  /-tɔːr.i/
describes an action that is harmful to someone who has done something to harm you: retaliatory measures He urged people not to resort to retaliatory violence.Revenge and vengefulness
(Definition of retaliatory adjective from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of retaliatory

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Revenge and vengefulness, but you might be interested in these topics from the Anger topic area:

Definitions of “retaliatory” in other dictionaries

Translations of “retaliatory”

Word of the Day


friendly or helpful

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More