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Ret`ri*bu"tion (?), n. [L. retributio: cf. F. rétribution.] 1. The act of retributing; repayment.
In good offices and due retributions, we may not be pinching and niggardly. Bp. Hall.
2. That which is given in repayment or compensation; return suitable to the merits or deserts of, as an action; commonly, condign punishment for evil or wrong.
All who have their reward on earth, . . . Milton.
Naught seeking but the praise of men, here find
Fit retribution, empty as their deeds.
3. Specifically, reward and punishment, as distributed at the general judgment.
It is a strong argument for a state of retribution hereafter, that in this world virtuous persons are very often unfortunate, and vicious persons prosperous. Addison.
Syn. -- Repayment; requital; recompense; payment; retaliation.