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 Swift cast her decision as both a personal vendetta against the music executive Scooter Braun and a moralistic stand against the industry’s treatment of artists. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, "The Old Taylor Swift Never Left," 13 Feb. 2021 Bardeson believes scrapping the pipeline might have been part of a political vendetta but says Washington needs to wake up and take a hard look at the real-life consequences of the decision. Barnini Chakraborty, Washington Examiner, "Construction workers and their families left in limbo by Biden's Keystone decision: 'It's devastating'," 3 Feb. 2021 The president strongly denied that and sought to blame the episode on the DEA, hinting at conspiracy theories that the agency had a vendetta against Mexico’s military. Washington Post, "López Obrador lashes out at DEA after Mexico exonerates ex-minister on drug charges," 15 Jan. 2021 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

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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Statistics for vendetta

Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vendetta.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for vendetta



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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