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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English: re- + quite (clear, pay up)



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

  1. To return something (usually something figurative) that has been given; to repay; to recompense
    • 1610, The Tempest, by Shakespeare, 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.
    • Edgar Allan Poe
      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 []
    • 1925, Franz Kafka, The Trial, Vintage Books (London), pg. 91:
      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. To retaliate.

Derived terms[edit]




  1. requital