Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An act perpetrated by one nation upon another in retaliation or reprisal for a similar act perpetrated by the other nation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An act of retaliation taken by one nation against another as a reprisal

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Same as retortion.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of retorting; retaliation; specifically, in international law, the adoption toward another nation or its subjects of a line of treatment in accordance with the course pursued by itself or them in the like circumstances. It implies peaceful retaliation. Also written retortion.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Probably French rétorsion, from Latin retortus (influenced by Late Latin torsiō, a twisting, wringing), past participle of retorquēre, to cast back; see retort1.

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