Meaning of lex talionis

lex ta•li•o•nis

Pronunciation: (leks' tal"ē-ō'nis), [key]
  1. the principle or law of retaliation that a punishment inflicted should correspond in degree and kind to the offense of the wrongdoer, as an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; retributive justice. Also called
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.