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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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 Musk’s vendetta against Vernon Unsworth was more personal. Russ Mitchellstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 20 Apr. 2022 Rufo's campaign against a major employer in the state of Florida began as a vendetta against the company for its public statements opposing DeSantis' bill. Damon Linker, The Week, 6 Apr. 2022 Gaetz, a close ally of Trump, has denied wrongdoing and has accused the Justice Department of carrying out a political vendetta against him. Evan Perez, CNN, 6 Mar. 2022 The New York court filing, which the company dismissed as a long-simmering political vendetta, underscored an expanding legal firestorm inching closer to the Trump business and the former president himself. Amy Nakamura, USA TODAY, 24 Feb. 2022 Their presence on the Jan. 6 committee is a constant source of irritation for the party, giving Democrats bipartisan cover for an investigation that Republicans have sought to cast as a partisan vendetta. New York Times, 8 Feb. 2022 Trump has repeatedly accused James, Bragg and Vance of pursuing the cases against him out of political vendetta. Graham Kates, CBS News, 7 Apr. 2022 Zuritsky dismissed the notion that the writing staff might have some sort of vendetta against Steve. Ryan Gajewski, The Hollywood Reporter, 14 Jan. 2022 As former President Donald Trump turns the focus of his political vendetta to sitting South Carolina House members, Sen. Lindsey Graham seems to be looking the other way. Rick Klein, ABC News, 14 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of vendetta was in 1855

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Vendetta.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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