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2 definitions found
 for Letters of marque and reprisal
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Marque \Marque\, n. [F. marque, in lettre de marque letter of
     marque, a commission with which the commandant of every armed
     vessel was obliged to be provided, under penalty of being
     considered a pirate or corsair; marque here prob. meaning,
     border, boundary (the letter of marque being a permission to
     go beyond the border), and of German origin. See March
     border.] (Law)
     A license to pass the limits of a jurisdiction, or boundary
     of a country, for the purpose of making reprisals.
     [1913 Webster]
     Letters of marque, Letters of marque and reprisal, a
        license or extraordinary commission granted by a
        government to a private person to fit out a privateer or
        armed ship to cruise at sea and make prize of the enemy's
        ships and merchandise. The ship so commissioned is
        sometimes called a letter of marque.
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Reprisal \Re*pris"al\ (r?-priz"al), n. [F. repr?saille, It.
     ripresaglia, rappresaglia, LL. reprensaliae, fr. L.
     reprehendere, reprehensum. See Reprehend, Reprise.]
     1. The act of taking from an enemy by way of reteliation or
        [1913 Webster]
              Debatable ground, on which incursions and reprisals
              continued to take place.              --Macaulay.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. Anything taken from an enemy in retaliation.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. The act of retorting on an enemy by inflicting suffering
        or death on a prisoner taken from him, in retaliation for
        an act of inhumanity. --Vattel (Trans.)
        [1913 Webster]
     4. Any act of retaliation. --Waterland.
        [1913 Webster]
     Letters of marque and reprisal. See under Marque.
        [1913 Webster]

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