reprisal 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 practice in international law of resorting to force short of war in retaliation for damage or loss suffered
b : an instance of such action
2 : a retaliatory act [may not fire a complaining employee in ]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.