vengeance

noun
ven·​geance | \ ˈven-jən(t)s How to pronounce vengeance (audio) \

Definition of vengeance

: punishment inflicted in retaliation for an injury or offense : retribution
with a vengeance
1 : with great force or vehemence undertook reform with a vengeance
2 : to an extreme or excessive degree the tourists are back—with a vengeance

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Examples of vengeance in a Sentence

He thought briefly of the long-dead woman bound to this stone in 1654 and burnt alive as a witch. And for what? An over-sharp tongue, delusions, mental eccentricity, to satisfy a private vengeance, the need for a scapegoat in times of sickness or the failure of a harvest, or perhaps as a sacrifice to propitiate a malignant unnamed god? — P. D. James, The Private Patient, 2008 Unlike the type of cannibalism much of the world had come to know—among desperate explorers, marooned sailors, and victims of famine—the Cinta Larga's consumption of human flesh was born not out of necessity but out of vengeance and an adherence to tribal traditions and ceremony. — Candice Millard, The River of Doubt, 2005 As it turns out, police crackdowns in the 1990's did not so much destroy Los Angeles street gangs as temporarily displace them to Central America. Soon they returned with a vengeance; gang-related homicide rose 50 percent between 1999 and 2002. — Richard Brookhiser, New York Times Book Review, 9 Jan. 2005 He is trying to do in his corner of Texas what death-penalty opponents say is impossible: enforce capital punishment flawlessly, ensuring that the innocent never spend a day on death row and the guilty are sent there only after trials free of bias and vengeance. — John Cloud, Time, 14 July 2003 A holy war may be launched to root out terrorism, but its form must be a punitive crusade, an angry god's vengeance exacted upon sinners, since no proper war can exist when there is no recognition of the other's list of grievances, no awareness of the relentless dynamic binding the powerful and powerless. — John Edgar Wideman, Harper's, March 2002 The fire was set as an act of vengeance. Angry protesters wanted to inflict vengeance on the killer.
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Recent Examples on the Web While the Twins took down the Royals in a one-sided game in the series opener, the Royals came back with a vengeance Saturday. Megan Ryan, Star Tribune, "Royals race past Twins 11-3; starter Matt Shoemaker gives up nine runs," 1 May 2021 The race to build cutting-edge fighter jets is back with a vengeance. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Here's the Tech That Will Define the Air Force's Secret New Fighter Jet," 29 Apr. 2021 Schools were closed for months, then reopened and shuttered again this month in Detroit after the virus came back with a vengeance. Fox News, "Michigan became coronavirus hotspot as variants rose and vigilance fell," 27 Apr. 2021 Elizabeth did her schoolwork in the hospital, returned to her courses with a vengeance, graduated summa, began to work at their mother’s firm. Lauren Groff, The New Yorker, "What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf?," 27 Apr. 2021 Schools were closed for months, then reopened and shuttered again this month in Detroit after the virus came back with a vengeance. BostonGlobe.com, "Michigan became a coronavirus hotspot as variants rose and vigilance fell," 25 Apr. 2021 The auteur theory of Oscar broadcasts asserted itself last night with a giddy vengeance. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "A Restrained but Revitalized 2021 Oscars Ceremony," 26 Apr. 2021 For the Lakers players, the victory served as vengeance for the 2019 season, when Apponequet started 4-0 before falling, 28-7, to the Falcons and finishing 7-3. BostonGlobe.com, "Apponequet’s victory over Dighton-Rehoboth proves to be extra special," 17 Apr. 2021 Theater is coming back to the Kennedy Center — with a vengeance. Washington Post, "Covid-19 live updates World struggles to maintain vaccination drives amid mounting reports of side effects," 14 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vengeance.' 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 vengeance

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vengeance

Middle English vengeaunce, borrowed from Anglo-French, from venger "to exact satisfaction for" (going back to Latin vindicāre "to lay claim to, exact retribution for") + -aunce -ance — more at vindicate

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Time Traveler for vengeance

Time Traveler

The first known use of vengeance was in the 14th century

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Statistics for vengeance

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vengeance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vengeance. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for vengeance

vengeance

noun

English Language Learners Definition of vengeance

: the act of doing something to hurt someone because that person did something that hurt you or someone else

vengeance

noun
ven·​geance | \ ˈven-jəns How to pronounce vengeance (audio) \

Kids Definition of vengeance

: harm done to someone usually as punishment in return for an injury or offense
with a vengeance
1 : with great force or effect
2 : to an extreme or excessive degree

Comments on vengeance

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