WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
ret•ri•bu•tion /ˌrɛtrəˈbyuʃən/USA pronunciation   n. 
  1. punishment for some evil:the sword of retribution.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
ret•ri•bu•tion  (re′trə byo̅o̅shən), 
  1. requital according to merits or deserts, esp. for evil.
  2. something given or inflicted in such requital.
  3. Religion[Theol.]the distribution of rewards and punishments in a future life.
  • Late Latin retribūtiōn- (stem of retribūtiō) punishment, reward as result of judgment, equivalent. to Latin retribūt(us) (past participle of retribuere to restore, give back; see re-, tribute) + -iōn- -ion
  • Middle French
  • Middle English retribucioun 1350–1400
1, 2 . retaliation, repayment, recompense. See revenge.  1, 2 . pardon.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

retribution /ˌrɛtrɪˈbjuːʃən/ n
  1. the act of punishing or taking vengeance for wrongdoing, sin, or injury
  2. punishment or vengeance
Etymology: 14th Century: via Old French from Church Latin retribūtiō, from Latin retribuere to repay, from re- + tribuere to pay; see tribute

retributive /rɪˈtrɪbjʊtɪv/, rare reˈtributory adj reˈtributively adv

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