• vendetta
  • audio pronunciation
  • \ven-DET-uh\
  • DEFINITION

noun

1
: a feud between different families
2
: an often prolonged series of retaliatory, vengeful, or hostile acts or exchange of such acts
  • EXAMPLES

The vendetta between the two more powerful families on the island reached new heights when the prominent son of one family and two of his associates suddenly went missing.

"Lawyers for the indicted … sheriff are accusing the federal prosecutor of misconduct, saying he has a vendetta against their client and threatened him with arrest during a heated May meeting over U.S. Forest Service patrols in northern New Mexico." — Russell Contreras, Albuquerque Journal, August 20, 2014

  • DID YOU KNOW?

Vendetta has been getting even in English since the mid-19th century. English speakers borrowed vendetta, spelling and all, from Italian, in which it means "revenge." It ultimately traces to the Latin verb vindicare, which means "to lay claim to" or "to avenge." That Latin word is also in the family tree of many other English terms related to getting even, including avenge, revenge, vengeance, vindicate, and vindictive.

Test Your Memory: What former Word of the Day begins with "i" and means "exemption or freedom from punishment, harm, or loss"? The answer is ...

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