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

Did you know?

Vendetta has been getting even in English since the 19th century, when it first was used to refer to feuds between different clans or families. It later extended in meaning to cover acts that are known to feature in feuds of all kinds. English speakers borrowed vendetta, spelling and all, from Italian, in which it means "revenge." It ultimately traces to the Latin verb vindicta, of the same meaning. 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 And now crime and vendetta killings are on the rise in the West Bank, which is awash with guns, many smuggled from Israel and Jordan. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 Aug. 2023 Declaring a vendetta against an actress Swift believes sabotaged her relationship, this is a fast, energetic song that’s not too high, other than a couple of falsetto jumps, Glass said. Ada Tseng, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2023 So why do two brothers from a neighboring parcel of land seem eager to launch a vendetta against him? Kyle Smith, WSJ, 27 July 2023 The donors would get someone less liable to fly off the handle and, for that matter, less likely to pursue personal pet policies (trade wars) and vendettas. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 1 Aug. 2023 Some congressional Republicans vowed this week to work against that process after hauling FBI director Christopher A. Wray before the House Judiciary Committee to accuse him of a vendetta against conservatives. Paul Kane, Washington Post, 14 July 2023 Their personal vendetta against fireworks goes beyond noise disturbance though that can be reason enough. Anthony Robledo, USA TODAY, 4 July 2023 The American people are exhausted by the prosecutorial overreach, double standards, and vendetta politics. Prem Thakker, The New Republic, 12 June 2023 He’s stumbled over the last several months, displaying his inexperience in foreign policy and leaning even more aggressively into his spiteful vendetta with Disney, one of Florida’s largest and most significant employers. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 25 May 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1855, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of vendetta was in 1855


Dictionary Entries Near vendetta

Cite this Entry

“Vendetta.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


ven·​det·​ta ven-ˈdet-ə How to pronounce vendetta (audio)
: a feud between different families
: a series of acts marked by bitter hostility and motivated by a desire for revenge
waged a personal vendetta against those who opposed his candidacy
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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