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1. Punishment administered in return for a wrong committed.
2. Theology Punishment or reward distributed in a future life based on performance in this one.

[Middle English retribucion, repayment, reward, from Old French retribution, from Late Latin retribūtiō, retribūtiōn-, from Latin retribūtus, past participle of retribuere, to pay back : re-, re- + tribuere, to grant; see tribe.]

re·trib′u·tive (rĭ-trĭb′yə-tĭv), re·trib′u·to·ry (-tôr′ē) adj.
re·trib′u·tive·ly adv.


(rɪˈtrɪb yə tɪv)

also re•trib•u•to•ry

(-ˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i)

characterized by or involving retribution: retributive justice.
[1670–80; obsolete retribute to make retribution (< Latin retribūtus, past participle of retribuere; see retribution) + -ive]
re•trib′u•tive•ly, adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.retributive - of or relating to or having the nature of retribution; "retributive justice demands an eye for an eye"
punitive, punitory - inflicting punishment; "punitive justice"; "punitive damages"
2.retributive - given or inflicted in requital according to merits or deserts; "retributive justice"
just - used especially of what is legally or ethically right or proper or fitting; "a just and lasting peace"- A.Lincoln; "a kind and just man"; "a just reward"; "his just inheritance"


[rɪˈtrɪbjʊtɪv] ADJcastigador, de castigo


adjVergeltungs-, vergeltend; justiceausgleichend; retributive actionVergeltungsaktion f
References in periodicals archive ?
101,102 (2008) (distinguishing between the "desert model" of Eighth Amendment jurisprudence, which is concerned to prevent retributively disproportionate sentences, and the "dignity model," which is concerned to guarantee to offenders "a minimum standard of decency and humanity").
If the criminal penalty alone is meant to punish the defendant, then the combined impact of civil and criminal penalties risks going well beyond what would be retributively justified.
(Because arrestees are still presumed innocent, their loss of liberty and other harms must be treated as costs, not disregarded or retributively justified benefits.) (130) And prosecutors and judges do not internalize the costs of the pretrial detention they seek or authorize, because they do not run jails.
Claire spends The Events trying to understand The Boy in order to fix his identity as something so monstrous it would allow her to rationalize and justify her plan to retributively murder him; Chris spends Confirmation wishing for the neo-Nazi fascist to be as Other to his liberal self as it is possible to be, yet is eventually so confounded by Glen's similarity to himself that he doesn't "know which one of us is talking any more." (85) Ultimately, both protagonists fail to find the extremists as repellent as they would wish.
Some congressmen, before the Act passed, believed that marijuana users should be punished retributively for rupturing the moral fabric of society.
Here we can merely note this descriptive difference, because it proves to be salient to a further understanding of whether lethal punishment is justified when retributively intended.
One might think repeat offenses are retributively more blameworthy because the offender previously refused correction or otherwise exhibited a particularly wrongful character or mental state.
morally right and even retributively just, given perceptions about how
Once again, Middleton's version of this plot resolution is more conventionally comedic than Shakespeare's, since Shakespeare's Duke offers to gift Mariana with all of Angelo's possessions when he retributively condemns his deputy for having issued Claudio's execution order, sardonically promising, "We do enstate and widow you with all, / To buy you a better husband" (5.1.421-22)--this, when the Duke full well knows that Claudio lives.
As if picking up where James left off, Patricia Coughlan's classic essay, 'Doubles, shadows, sedan-chairs and the past', remains unsurpassed in her New Critical analysis of Le Fanu's plots and narrative strategies, such as the fatal bargain, the influence of the past (one 'always returning, usually retributively, on the present'), as well as the internal threat that arises unexpectedly from the community, the family, and more tellingly, the self.
Lee argues that the disjunctive theory is "wrongheaded" and that the Eighth Amendment restriction on excessive punishment should instead be understood as a retributively grounded "side constraint" on a state's ability to pursue the utilitarian purposes of punishment.