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 To get her son returned safely, the kidnapper demands Bree not contact police and perform acts of revenge on behalf of the old woman as part of a personal vendetta. Lesley Kennedy, CNN Underscored, "21 of the most anticipated new books to read this April," 1 Apr. 2021 There’s a lot of talk about loyalties, old feuds, and the best way forward for the clan, with Ed and Alex prioritizing cash and Sean favoring vendetta at all costs. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, "‘Gangs of London’: Wham, Bam, Thank You, Man," 1 Apr. 2021 Adding to the chaos, Mr. Kemp has become the target of a vendetta by Mr. Trump, who has condemned him for not doing more to deliver (or poach) victory for him in Georgia in November. Mark Leibovich, New York Times, "A Political Hurricane Blew Through Georgia. Now It’s Bracing for More.," 13 Mar. 2021 In a video posted to Twitter, Quiroga suggested that what's happening to Áñez goes beyond a political vendetta. Rafael Romo, CNN, "Questions mount over former president's arrest in Bolivia," 15 Mar. 2021 Trump has accused prosecutors investigating him of waging a political vendetta. Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, "Can Cyrus Vance, Jr., Nail Trump?," 12 Mar. 2021 Convinced that Superman is now a threat to humanity, Batman embarks on a personal vendetta to end his reign on Earth, while the conniving Lex Luthor launches his own crusade against the Man of Steel. Ed Stockly, Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘The Searchers’; ‘Forrest Gump’," 12 Mar. 2021 Lundrigan, Teague's lawyer, argued at the hearing that his client was being made a scapegoat and that the charges, which were not criminal, were filed because the mayor has a personal vendetta against the chief. Dan Horn, The Enquirer, "Bethel's mayor drops campaign to fire police chief over BLM protests, other issues," 8 Mar. 2021 The Cimmerian warrior slashes his way across Hyboria on a mission that begins as a personal vendetta but turns into an epic battle against a supernatural evil. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘Lust for Life’; ‘Platoon’ and more," 5 Mar. 2021

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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Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vendetta.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 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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