Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “tit for tat”

tit for tat

noun [U] uk   disapproving us  
actions done intentionally to punish other people because they have done something unpleasant to you: I noticed she didn't send me a card - I think it was tit for tat because I forgot her birthday last year.Revenge and vengefulness
tit-for-tat
adjective [before noun] uk   /tɪt.fərˈtæt/ us  
Recent months have seen a pattern of tit-for-tat killings between the two sides.Revenge and vengefulness
(Definition of tit for tat from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of tit for tat?
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:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “tit for tat” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

throw

to send something through the air with force, especially by a sudden movement of the arm

Word of the Day

Blog

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