ven·​det·​ta | \ ven-ˈde-tə How to pronounce vendetta (audio) \

Definition of vendetta

2 : an often prolonged series of retaliatory, vengeful, or hostile acts or exchange of such acts waged a personal vendetta against those who opposed his nomination

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Did You Know?

Vendetta has been getting even in English since the mid-19th century. English speakers borrowed vendetta, spelling and all, from Italian, in which it means "revenge." It ultimately traces to the Latin verb vindicare, which means "to lay claim to" or "to avenge." That Latin word is also in the family tree of many other English terms related to getting even, including avenge, revenge, vengeance, vindicate, and vindictive.

Examples of vendetta in a Sentence

He waged a personal vendetta against his rivals in the Senate.
Recent Examples on the Web Mank’s complicity with their efforts to use the influence of motion pictures to derail Sinclair’s candidacy — in spite of his own leftist sympathies — is the source of the writer’s vendetta against Hearst. New York Times, "‘Mank’ Review: A Rosebud by Any Other Name," 3 Dec. 2020 That sounds more like a vendetta than proper enforcement. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Secrets of the Oracle Prosecution," 15 Dec. 2020 There is a popular theory that keeps circulating that teens using TikTok managed to artificially depress the turnout to a Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June and that the Trump administration developed a vendetta against the app as a result. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "TikTok users troll Trump “voter fraud” reporting hotline en masse," 9 Nov. 2020 This is a personal vendetta, at least that’s what this feels like. Aubrey Wieber, Anchorage Daily News, "Recall petition targeting Anchorage Assembly Chair Felix Rivera approved," 6 Nov. 2020 Elizabeth's vendetta against cigarettes didn't come out of nowhere. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Queen Elizabeth Insisted that Prince Philip Give Up Smoking When They Got Married," 17 Oct. 2020 When the defendants take their seats at the start of Aaron Sorkin’s new Netflix film, the audience already knows the charges against them are ludicrous and the result of a political vendetta. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Aaron Sorkin’s New Netflix Film Is Like the Anti–West Wing," 16 Oct. 2020 And then, of course, there's Inaros' vendetta to contend with. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The future of the Belt has begun in first trailer for The Expanse S5," 8 Oct. 2020 Lopez accused Arrellano of having a vendetta against the district. Krista Torralva,, "Election for South San Antonino ISD board seats reviving old divisions," 11 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vendetta.' 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 vendetta

1855, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vendetta

borrowed from Italian, "retribution, revenge, blood feud," going back to Latin vindicta — more at vindictive

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Time Traveler for vendetta

Time Traveler

The first known use of vendetta was in 1855

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Last Updated

30 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vendetta.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for vendetta


How to pronounce vendetta (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vendetta

: a very long and violent fight between two families or groups
: a series of acts done by someone over a long period of time to cause harm to a disliked person or group

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