vandal

play
noun van·dal \ ˈvan-dᵊl \

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

vandal

adjective, often capitalized

Vandalic

play \van-ˈda-lik\ adjective

Examples of vandal in a Sentence

  1. Vandals defaced the school's walls.

  2. a group of vandals broke into the school and painted graffiti on the walls

Recent Examples of vandal from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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 4wind


VANDAL Defined for English Language Learners

vandal

play
noun

Definition of vandal for English Language Learners

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


VANDAL Defined for Kids

vandal

play
noun van·dal \ ˈvan-dəl \

Definition of vandal for Students

:a person who destroys or damages property on purpose

History for vandal

When the Roman Empire ended there was a great movement of peoples in and around Europe. Tribes that we call “Germanic” settled in many areas; some, as the Angles, Saxons, Franks, and Bavarians, became ancestors of the people of modern England, France, and Germany. Another such tribe was the Vandals, who swept through Europe, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar, and seized the Roman province of Africa in the year 429, finally disappearing from history in the 500s and 600s. Though the Vandals were no worse than other tribes in a violent age, they became the model of the destructive barbarian, and their name became attached to anyone who willfully defaces public property.


Law Dictionary

vandal

play
noun van·dal \ ˈvand-ᵊl \

legal Definition of vandal

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

Origin and Etymology of vandal

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



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