re·​vanche | \ rə-ˈväⁿsh How to pronounce revanche (audio) \

Definition of revanche

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

Other Words from revanche

revanchism \ rə-​ˈväⁿ-​ˌshi-​zəm How to pronounce revanche (audio) \ 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.

First Known Use of revanche

1853, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for revanche

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

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The first known use of revanche was in 1853

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Cite this Entry

“Revanche.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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