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strike back

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phrasal verb [intransitive]
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theystrike back
he/she/itstrikes back
present participlestriking back
past tensestruck back
past participlestruck back
  1. to attack, harm, or criticize someone who has attacked, harmed, or criticized you

    The most vulnerable are also those least able to strike back.

    strike back at:

    The bombing was apparently carried out by the Mafia to strike back at the Pope.

    strike back against:

    They threatened to strike back against the UN for the bombing raids.

    1. a.
      to make a successful attack in a competition after being attacked yourself, especially by scoring a goal or a point

      The Germans struck back with two goals in seven minutes.

      Synonyms and related words for this sense of strike back
See also main entry: strike

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