vandal

noun
van·​dal | \ ˈvan-dᵊl How to pronounce vandal (audio) \

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

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Other Words from vandal

vandal adjective, often capitalized
Vandalic \ van-​ˈda-​lik How to pronounce Vandalic (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for vandal

Synonyms

defacer

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Examples of vandal in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples on the Web

Unfortunately, whoever took black spray paint to the Colorado National Monument last month apparently didn't get the memo, and the National Park Service is trying to find the vandal responsible. Alyssa Pereira, Houston Chronicle, "'Promposal' vandal who defaced Colorado National Monument sought by National Park Service," 11 June 2018 The vandals brought cutting tools and mischief to their acts of vandalism. Tyrone Beason / Columnist, The Seattle Times, "Clueless or not, vandals in Seattle committed racist act by damaging ‘Black Teen’ artworks," 3 Sep. 2018 Jurors in the two cases that went to trial said afterward that the government couldn't prove which of the people in the chaotic crowd were the vandals. Keith L. Alexander, chicagotribune.com, "Federal prosecutors dismiss all remaining Inauguration Day rioting cases," 7 July 2018 Brake-cable cutting by vandals kept maintenance crews on the move, Scheer said. Mike Lindblom, The Seattle Times, "How reliable are those colorful bike-share bikes on Seattle streets and sidewalks?," 13 July 2018 Jewish cemeteries across the country have been targeted by vandals in recent months. Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "'Meth on the tombstones': Jewish cemeteries turned into dumps, Seattle families say | The Kansas City Star," 3 May 2018 In 2015, young vandals knocked over headstones three times in a matter of weeks, and Sam was at first discouraged. Ben Hohenstatt, The Seattle Times, "Tlingit storyteller on a mission to reinter Alaska Native remains," 24 Nov. 2018 Last year, vandals wrecked a dinosaur footprint in rock at a renowned paleontology site in Australia. James Rogers, Fox News, "Stunning dinosaur discovery: 170-million-year-old footprint found in Scotland," 24 Aug. 2018 Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spends so little time on her $40 million yacht — one of at least 10 ships belonging to the DeVos family — that a group of vandals managed to set it free over the summer. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "What are rich people buying now? Superyachts, apparently.," 8 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vandal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of vandal

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vandal

borrowed from Late Latin Vandalī (plural) (Latin Vindilī, Vandiliī), probably borrowed from Germanic *wand-il-, noun derivative from a verbal base *wend- "wind, wrap, turn, move" (whence Old English windan to twist, move with speed or force"), as in *auza-wandil-, perhaps, "dawn-wanderer," name of a star and mythological figure (whence Old Norse Aurvandill, Old English ēarendel) — more at wind entry 4

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Statistics for vandal

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Time Traveler for vandal

The first known use of vandal was in 1530

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More Definitions for vandal

vandal

noun

English Language Learners Definition of vandal

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

vandal

noun
van·​dal | \ ˈvan-dəl How to pronounce vandal (audio) \

Kids Definition of vandal

: a person who destroys or damages property on purpose

vandal

noun
van·​dal | \ ˈvand-ᵊl How to pronounce vandal (audio) \

Legal Definition of vandal

: a person who willfully destroys, damages, or defaces property belonging to another or to the public

History and Etymology for vandal

Vandal, member of a Germanic tribe who sacked Rome in A.D. 455

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