re·​vanche rə-ˈväⁿsh How to pronounce revanche (audio)
: revenge
especially : a usually political policy designed to recover lost territory or status
revanchism noun

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Revanche first appeared in English in the mid-19th century, deriving, along with our noun "revenge," from the Middle French verb revenchier ("to revenge"). The word developed its specific political application in the years following the Franco-German War (1870-71), which resulted in France losing the territory known as Alsace-Lorraine to Germany. (The territory was returned to France following World War I and then twice switched hands again during World War II.) Although "revanche" appears occasionally in English today, you are more likely to encounter its relatives "revanchism," which refers to a government's policy of revanche, and "revanchist," referring to a follower of such a policy. These words did not appear in English until the 20th century.

Examples of revanche in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The revanche workplace may soothe organizations' need for security and stability. Caterina Bulgarella, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'revanche.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French, from Middle French, alteration of revenche — more at revenge

First Known Use

1853, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of revanche was in 1853


Dictionary Entries Near revanche

Cite this Entry

“Revanche.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

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