revanche

play
noun re·vanche \rə-ˈväⁿsh\

Definition of revanche

  1. :  revenge; especially :  a usually political policy designed to recover lost territory or status

revanchism

play \-ˈväⁿ-ˌshi-zəm\ noun

revanche was our Word of the Day on 02/27/2009. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

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.

Origin and Etymology of revanche

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


First Known Use: 1853

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a dividing ridge between drainage areas

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