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Alternative forms[edit]


From come up (to appear before a judge) +‎ -ance.


  • IPA(key): /kʌmˈʌpəns/
  • (file)


comeuppance (usually uncountable, plural comeuppances)

  1. Retribution or outcome that is justly deserved.
    • 1883, Albion Winegar Tourgée, editor, The Continent; an illustrated weekly magazine, volume 3:
      So when Brown's second wife turned out a reg'lar ternygrunt, I wa'n't in no wise upset, for he needed a comeuppance, an' he got it in her.
    • 1918, Booth Tarkington, chapter 10, in The Magnificent Ambersons:
      The Sunday edition of the principal morning paper even expressed some bitterness under the heading, "Gilded Youths of the Fin-de-Siecle"--this was considered the knowing phrase of the time, especially for Sunday supplements--and there is no doubt that from certain references in this bit of writing some people drew the conclusion that Mr. George Amberson Minafer had not yet got his comeuppance, a postponement still irritating.
    • 1958 October 13, “Yankee Comeuppance in a Lousy Inning”, in Life, volume 45, number 15, page 34:
      The Yankees got their comeuppance in Milwaukee when the Braves piled up a record score for the first inning of a World Series game.
    • 2000, Thomas à Kempis, “[The Sacrament of the Altar: How to Prepare for It & What It Tastes Like] Frequency”, in William Griffin, transl., The Imitation of Christ: How Jesus Wants Us to Live [] A Contemporary Version, HarperSanFrancisco, →ISBN, page 238:
      I have to say it again, my Dearest Friend. What a wonderful Comedown for the Godhead! What a wonderful Comeuppance for Humankind! That’s because You, Lord God, Creator, Bellows Maker of All That Breathes, deigned to come to my hovel of a soul; once there, to fatten up the leanness of my soul with the plumpitude of Your Sacrament; that’s to say, with the plenitude of Your Divinity and Humanity.
    • 2004, Peter Hunt, Sheila G. Bannister Ray, editors, International Companion Encyclopedia of Children's Literature, page 862:
      [] in the anonymous A New Gift for Children (1750), perhaps America's first secular storybook, and its tales of children who are good and merit rewards, and tales of children who are otherwise and receive their comeuppances.
    • 2014 October 30, Ben Brantley, “When the head leads the heart: 'The Real Thing,' With Ewan McGregor and Maggie Gyllenhaal, opens on Broadway [print version: When the witty head is far ahead of the heart: Maggie Gyllenhaal and Ewan McGregor star in revival of 'Real Thing', International New York Times, 4 November 2014, p. 9]”, in The New York Times[1]:
      [I]ts main character, Henry (Mr. [Ewan] McGregor), is a successful, intellectual dramatist who seems quite capable of churning out fizzy, challenging works about brilliant but ambivalent revolutionaries, philosophers, etc. [] But this cleverer-than-thou creature gets his comeuppance in "The Real Thing," showing that a very human heart – just like those possessed by the less sesquipedalian – beats beneath his fancy words.
    • 2014, Bill Turque, Inventing Al Gore: A Biography[2]:
      But even friends like Tom Downey thought a little comeuppance might not necessarily have been a bad thing for a man who approached life as if he were always the smartest person in the room.
    • 2014 September 19, “The murder of William, Earl of Douglas is to be investigated 600 years on as part of Bloody Scotland festival”, in Scottish Daily Record:
      But in medieval Scotland, the king had absolute power so there wasn't much comeuppance for him.
    • 2016 May 11, “Pelé: Birth of a Legend – biopic of soccer's greatest is a terrible own goal”, in The Guardian:
      More comeuppance comes when the two play on the national team eight years later.



See also[edit]