ven·​det·​ta | \ven-ˈde-tə \

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

The decision now rests in Judge Brinkley’s hands, who has been accused of having a personal vendetta against the rapper. Ashley Velez, The Root, "Philly Rallies Behind Meek Mill As Rapper Awaits Judge’s Decision On Possible Retrial," 18 June 2018 But the broader slowdown may stem less from intentional vendettas, according to legislators, and more from the fact that lawmakers in different parties simply lack the friendly relationships that can lubricate work between members of the same party. Nathaniel Herz, Anchorage Daily News, "Paralyzed by partisanship and the budget crisis, this Alaska Legislature has passed fewer bills than any on record," 8 Apr. 2018 The court papers Ramos wrote, other records and interviews suggest an intelligent but isolated man who was willing to pursue a vendetta for years. Anchorage Daily News, "Maryland newspaper shooting suspect’s anger flared, and fell silent. Then it exploded, police say," 8 July 2018 Hiaasen and four of his colleagues at the Capital Gazette were killed Thursday when, police say, a man with a vendetta against the Annapolis news outlet fired a shotgun through the newsroom’s glass doors and at the staffers working there. Reis Thebault, Washington Post, "In a lifetime of words, Rob Hiaasen wrote for his children in journals and for his community in newspapers," 2 July 2018 Mill's lawyers want Judge Genece Brinkley off his case, alleging she's been waging a vendetta against the rapper, including sending him to prison for the probation violations. Fox News, "Meek Mill denied request for judge removal from his case," 1 June 2018 Still, this confounding hatred leads Reggie to join Archie’s vendetta against two of Hiram Lodges’ (Mark Consuelos) mob rivals., "After That Riverdale Shooting, How Did We Get Here With Reggie?," 3 May 2018 Yet vast right-wing vendetta They‘d never let her -- Myles C. Pollin *** Follow James Freeman on Twitter. James Freeman, WSJ, "An Anti-Trumper vs. ‘The Deep State’," 24 Apr. 2018 Jordan has denied having any knowledge of Strauss’ alleged abuse and has accused those who say otherwise of carrying a vendetta against him. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Jim Jordan and the Ohio State sexual abuse controversy, explained," 7 July 2018

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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vending machine

Statistics for vendetta

Last Updated

28 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for vendetta

The first known use of vendetta was in 1855

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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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a private place of worship

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