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

An Rong Xu for The New York Times Manoj Tripathi couldn’t shake the feeling that someone had a vendetta against his Subway sandwich shop. New York Times, "Subway Got Too Big. Franchisees Paid a Price.," 28 June 2019 The book then shows how that certainty helped turn a faltering right-wing political vendetta against a Democratic president into a constitutional crisis over consensual private behavior. Sean Wilentz, The New York Review of Books, "Presumed Guilty," 7 Mar. 2019 The secretary of the state is not empowered to conduct vendettas. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Why a baseball agent is leaving the industry over $33,000: 'Tired of swimming in a sewer'," 3 June 2018 Today’s Democrats speak in hyperbole, ignore good economic news and visible problems, wage vengeful vendettas, appeal to emotion and engage in appeasement and subterfuge to hide their true motives and agenda. WSJ, "The ‘Character Issue’ Spares Neither Party," 15 Mar. 2019 Wielgus saw it as part of a political vendetta against him — a rival university prompted to do a hit job. New York Times, "Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf Scientist?," 5 July 2018 He's furiously denied the allegations, telling his colleagues he's been the victim of a political vendetta. Manu Raju And Ashley Killough, CNN, "Hispanic Democrats keeping Cárdenas as head of political group despite sexual misconduct allegations," 11 May 2018 President Donald Trump continues to argue that the FBI went easy on Mrs. Clinton while pursuing a vendetta against his campaign and embedding spies within it. Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ, "Watchdog Report on Justice Department’s Clinton Probe to Be Released June 14," 7 June 2018 Leaders assume responsibility for pivotal decisions, transcend personal vendettas, try all paths to compromise. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "How to Find a Good Leader," 1 Nov. 2018

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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vending machine

Statistics for vendetta

Last Updated

6 Jul 2019

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The first known use of vendetta was in 1855

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on vendetta

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vendetta

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vendetta

Spanish Central: Translation of vendetta

Nglish: Translation of vendetta for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about vendetta

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food or victuals

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