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

Other Words from vandal

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

Synonyms for vandal


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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 Authorities have said that according to surveillance video, the vandal walked on campus about 4 a.m. with a can of spray paint in hand and painted the slurs on the outside of a building. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 Jan. 2022 The vandal didn't stop at defacing the hood and both sides of her car in black paint. NBC News, 17 Nov. 2021 Anyone with information about the vandal is asked to call the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers tip line at 408-947-7867 or submit a tip online at Andres Picon, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 Sep. 2021 The vandal apologized and admitted to disrupting the display in the past. Washington Post, 27 June 2021 The vandal was also suspected of tossing concrete at Pat’s, a kosher steakhouse nearby, and shattering a window there. Los Angeles Times, 3 June 2021 An unknown vandal or vandals have damaged the Alamo Heights Community Garden three times in three months. Liz Hardaway, San Antonio Express-News, 11 June 2021 The vandal's symbols of vitriolic hatred were erased within hours. Michael Igel, CNN, 9 June 2021 Authorities believe the damage was caused Saturday or Sunday by a vandal with a large hammer or some similar object. NBC News, 1 June 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near vandal

Vancouver, Mount



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Statistics for vandal

Last Updated

20 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Vandal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for vandal



English Language Learners Definition of vandal

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


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

Kids Definition of vandal

: a person who destroys or damages property on purpose


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

More from Merriam-Webster on vandal

Nglish: Translation of vandal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vandal for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about vandal


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