1. The act or an instance of retaliating for a loss or injury.
2. The act or practice of forcibly seizing an enemy's goods or citizens in retaliation for a loss or injury inflicted.
[Middle English reprisail, from Old French reprisaille, from Old Italian ripresaglia, from ripreso, past participle of riprendere, to take back, from Latin reprehendere, reprēndere, to take hold of; see REPREHEND.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.