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

The surgery and psychiatric wards have both been left to decay and give way to nature (and vandals), and the result looks like something straight out of American Horror Story—definitely not an enjoyable day trip for the easily spooked. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "Creepy Catacombs, Islands of Dolls, and 18 Other Terrifying Places for Thrill Seekers," 4 Sep. 2019 In March, however, vandals targeted five mosques in a series of attacks, leaving Birmingham's Muslim community on edge. Edward Kiernan, CNN, "The UK has an Islamophobia problem. Muslims want to know what Boris Johnson is going to do about it," 18 Aug. 2019 Buzbee's campaign swiftly offered a reward of $5,000 for anyone who could help capture said vandals. Peter Dawson, Houston Chronicle, "Mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee doubles reward for vandals painting swastikas on his campaign signs," 24 July 2019 And the law has made small steps toward bringing cultural vandals to justice. Jill Lawless, The Mercury News, "3-D printing recreates ancient sculpture destroyed by ISIS," 7 July 2019 And the law has made small steps toward bringing cultural vandals to justice. Jill Lawless, The Denver Post, "3-D printing recreates ancient sculpture destroyed by the Islamic State," 7 July 2019 The memorial sign for Till has often been the target of vandals since it was first erected in 2008. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland.com, "Ole Miss fraternity suspends 3 members shown posing with guns in front of Emmett Till sign," 26 July 2019 Over the centuries, Notre Dame rose as the spiritual and civic center of Paris, then became a target of Hugenot vandals in the 16th century, rampaging revolutionaries in the 18th century, and Nazi occupiers in the 20th century. Kristin Romey, National Geographic, "Why history says Notre Dame will rise again," 16 Apr. 2019 The first sign was thrown into the river by vandals. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Ole Miss Students Who Posed With Guns In Front Of Emmett Till Memorial Suspended From Frat," 26 July 2019

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 3

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Statistics for vandal

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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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