The meaning of the principle, an eye for an eye, is that a person who has injured another person receives the same injury in compensation.
The phrase, “an eye for an eye“, (עין תחת עין, ayin tachat ayin, literally ‘an eye under an eye’), is a quotation from several passages of the Hebrew Bible in which a person who has injured the eye of another is instructed to pay compensation. It defined and restricted the extent of retribution in the laws of the Torah.
The English word talion means a punishment identical to the offense, from the Latin talio. The principle of “an eye for an eye” is often referred to using the Latin phrase lex talionis, the law of talion.