van·​quish ˈvaŋ-kwish How to pronounce vanquish (audio) ˈvan- How to pronounce vanquish (audio)
vanquished; vanquishing; vanquishes

transitive verb

: to overcome in battle : subdue completely
: to defeat in a conflict or contest
: to gain mastery over (an emotion, passion, or temptation)
vanquish your fear
vanquishable adjective
vanquisher noun
Choose the Right Synonym for vanquish

conquer, vanquish, defeat, subdue, reduce, overcome, overthrow mean to get the better of by force or strategy.

conquer implies gaining mastery of.

Caesar conquered Gaul

vanquish implies a complete overpowering.

vanquished the enemy and ended the war

defeat does not imply the finality or completeness of vanquish which it otherwise equals.

the Confederates defeated the Union forces at Manassas

subdue implies a defeating and suppression.

subdued the native tribes after years of fighting

reduce implies a forcing to capitulate or surrender.

the city was reduced after a month-long siege

overcome suggests getting the better of with difficulty or after hard struggle.

overcame a host of bureaucratic roadblocks

overthrow stresses the bringing down or destruction of existing power.

violently overthrew the old regime

Examples of vanquish in a Sentence

They were vanquished in battle. vanquished nation after nation in his relentless conquest of Europe
Recent Examples on the Web The American people have the opportunity to vanquish him and his agenda this November. Jon D. Michaels, Foreign Affairs, 10 June 2024 Rumbling through a fictional Indian metropolis overloaded with political strife, Monkey Man follows an underground fighter determined to vanquish the corrupt authoritarians who killed his mother. Matthew Jacobs, Vulture, 21 Mar. 2024 Foes vanquished, Iger can focus on all these challenges and get on with the real work of bringing Disney+ to profitability; the company expects that to happen by the end of the year. Andrew R. Chow, TIME, 30 May 2024 Another strong contingent of fans in Dodger blue watched Tuesday for a second straight night as their team vanquished the home squad, whose good-luck threads still weren’t enough to overcome its undermanned and overmatched roster. Evan Webeck, The Mercury News, 14 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for vanquish 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vanquish.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English venquishen, borrowed from Anglo-French venquis-, extended stem of veintre, vaincre "to defeat, conquer," going back to Latin vincere — more at victor

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of vanquish was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near vanquish

Cite this Entry

“Vanquish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


van·​quish ˈvaŋ-kwish How to pronounce vanquish (audio) ˈvan- How to pronounce vanquish (audio)
: to defeat and subdue completely
vanquisher noun

More from Merriam-Webster on vanquish

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