1. a retaliatory action against an enemy in wartime
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Reprisal \Re*pris"al\ (r?-priz"al), n. [F. repr?saille, It.
ripresaglia, rappresaglia, LL. reprensaliae, fr. L.
reprehendere, reprehensum. See Reprehend, Reprise.]
1. The act of taking from an enemy by way of reteliation or
Debatable ground, on which incursions and reprisals
continued to take place. --Macaulay.
2. Anything taken from an enemy in retaliation.
3. The act of retorting on an enemy by inflicting suffering
or death on a prisoner taken from him, in retaliation for
an act of inhumanity. --Vattel (Trans.)
4. Any act of retaliation. --Waterland.
Letters of marque and reprisal. See under Marque.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: a retaliatory action against an enemy in wartime
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
33 Moby Thesaurus words for "reprisal":
amends, avengement, avenging, blood feud, comeuppance,
compensation, counterblow, desert, deserts, feud, getting even,
indemnification, indemnity, just deserts, punishment, quittance,
recompense, redress, repayment, requital, restitution, retaliation,
retribution, revanche, revanchism, revenge, reward, sweet revenge,
vendetta, vengeance, vindication, what is due, what is merited