return the favor

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return the favor

To reciprocate one's actions. You helped me last week, so I'll return the favor and do your filing. If Tiffany's the one who started that rumor about me, I'll just return the favor with a rumor about her.
See also: favor, return
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

return the favor

to do a good deed for someone who has done a good deed for you. You helped me last week, so I'll return the favor and help you this week. There is no point in helping Bill He'll never return the favor.
See also: favor, return
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Mohammad returns the favor by letting her take his bike the rest of the way home since she has the farthest to go.
Objectified as the Black Man, he returns the favor by exploiting his female students sexually.
Greenberg returns the favor; he was one of Beijing's most vigorous and influential arm twisters in Congress for Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) status And he is now leading the charge for China's membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO).