Dictionary

vandal

noun van·dal \ˈvan-dəl\

: a person who deliberately destroys or damages property : a person who vandalizes something

Full Definition of VANDAL

1
capitalized :  a member of a Germanic people who lived in the area south of the Baltic Sea between the Vistula and the Oder rivers, overran Gaul, Spain, and northern Africa in the fourth and fifth centuries a.d. , and in 455 sacked Rome
2
:  one who willfully or ignorantly destroys, damages, or defaces property belonging to another or to the public
vandal adjective often capitalized
Van·dal·ic \van-ˈda-lik\ adjective
ADVERTISEMENT

Examples of VANDAL

  1. Vandals defaced the school's walls.
  2. <a group of vandals broke into the school and painted graffiti on the walls>

Origin of VANDAL

Latin Vandalii (plural), of Germanic origin
First Known Use: 1530

Rhymes with VANDAL

VANDAL Defined for Kids

vandal

noun van·dal \ˈvan-dəl\

Definition of VANDAL for Kids

:  a person who destroys or damages property on purpose

Word History of VANDAL

When the Roman Empire ended there was a great movement of peoples in and around Europe. Tribes that we call Germanic settled in many areas; some, as the Angles, Saxons, Franks, and Bavarians, became ancestors of the people of modern England, France, and Germany. Another such tribe was the Vandals, who swept through Europe, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar, and seized the Roman province of Africa in the year 429, finally disappearing from history in the 500s and 600s. Though the Vandals were no worse than other tribes in a violent age, they became the model of the destructive barbarian, and their name became attached to anyone who willfully defaces public property.

Browse

Next Word in the Dictionary: vandalisePrevious Word in the Dictionary: vandaAll Words Near: vandal
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears