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 McKinsey says Mr Alix is engaged in a vendetta that aims to stifle competition. The Economist, "Schumpeter Rethinking McKinsey," 21 Nov. 2019 Others, speaking to a committed Republican base, are describing the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry as an unhinged vendetta against President Trump and an unconstitutional effort to reverse the results of the 2016 Election. Lissandra Villa, Time, "Lawmakers Hone Their Messaging on Impeachment," 10 Oct. 2019 His goal was to promote Yanukovych as a liberal, pro-Western politician and whitewash his attack on political rival Yulia Tymoshenko, who was imprisoned in 2011 following a trial widely seen as Yanukovych’s personal vendetta. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ukraine entangled yet again in American political storm," 25 Sep. 2019 That means keeping the political vendettas out of the investigations. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "The DOJ Will Not Prosecute James Comey over Trump Memos," 3 Aug. 2019 Every strongman’s fist is raised against the others, and many hold personal vendettas centered on money and power. Javid Ahmad, WSJ, "The Mafia That Threatens Afghanistan," 19 Sep. 2018 The mayor and City Council spent most of their time wallowing in political vendettas, divisive policy fights and social media squabbles – all of which drew a line in the sand between who would be in the pro-Cranley and anti-Cranley coalitions. Jason Williams,, "PX column: 4 takeaways from the nasty power struggle between John Cranley and Harry Black," 20 Apr. 2018 The area is a notable exception to Jamaica’s vendetta violence. Azam Ahmed, New York Times, "One Handgun, 9 Murders: How American Firearms Cause Carnage Abroad," 25 Aug. 2019 Investigators only began probing suspicions of his collusion in the early release from prison of a mafia don in 2013, after the ex-president became embroiled in a vendetta with his successor and one-time protégé, Sooronbay Jeyenbekov. The Economist, "After a siege of his home, an ex-president faces grave charges," 17 Aug. 2019

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

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The first known use of vendetta was in 1855

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Last Updated

7 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Vendetta.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on vendetta

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vendetta

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with vendetta

Spanish Central: Translation of vendetta

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

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