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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English requiten (to repay), from Old French requiter.


  • IPA(key): /ɹɪˈkwaɪt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪt


requite (third-person singular simple present requites, present participle requiting, simple past and past participle requited)

  1. (transitive) To return (usually something figurative) that has been given; to repay; to recompense
    • 1610, Shakespeare, The Tempest, act 3 scene 3
      But, remember—
      For that's my business to you,—that you three
      From Milan did supplant good Prospero;
      Expos'd unto the sea, which hath requit it,
      Him, and his innocent child: for which foul deed
      The powers, delaying, not forgetting, have
      Incens'd the seas and shores, yea, all the creatures,
      Against your peace.
    • 1841, Edgar Allan Poe, A Few Words on Secret Writing
      Good cryptographists are rare indeed; and thus their services, although seldom required, are necessarily well requited.
    • 1863, Sheridan Le Fanu, The House by the Churchyard:
      He was standing at the window [] when in bounced little red-faced bustling Dr. Toole—the joke and the chuckle with which he had just requited the fat old barmaid still ringing in the passage []
    • 1937, Willa Muir, Edwin Muir (translators), Franz Kafka, The Trial, Vintage Books (London), published 1983, pg. 91, original published 1925
      He bowed slightly to K.'s uncle, who appeared very flattered to make this new acquaintance, yet, being by nature incapable of expressing obligation, requited the Clerk of the Court's words with a burst of embarrassed but raucous laughter.
    • 1994 July 25, Jack Winter, “How I met my wife”, in The New Yorker:
      We left the party together and have been together ever since. I have given her my love, and she has requited it.
  2. (intransitive) To retaliate.

Derived terms[edit]




  1. requital