Meaning of lex talionis in English:

lex talionis

Pronunciation /ˌlɛks talɪˈəʊnɪs/


mass noun
  • The law of retaliation, whereby a punishment resembles the offence committed in kind and degree.

    ‘the lex talionis of feud violence and blood money’
    • ‘He defends a strict application of the lex talionis (law of retribution) - that is, he holds to equality both in proportion and in kind of harm inflicted.’
    • ‘This was indeed the purpose of the lex talionis.’
    revenge, vengeance, reprisal, retribution, requital, recrimination, an eye for an eye, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, getting even, redress, repayment, payback


Latin, from lex ‘law’ and talio(n-) ‘retaliation’ (from talis ‘such’).