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

If Richard Baldwin is right, globalization will soon go after white-collar jobs with a vengeance. Marc Levinson, WSJ, "‘The Globotics Upheaval’ Review: When the Robot Gets an Office," 3 Mar. 2019 Liam Neeson Clash of Clans: Revenge, 2015 The most popular ad of 2015 features an ultra-intense Liam Neeson preparing his vengeance on an innocent Clash of Clans online gamer. Vogue, "The 13 Most Iconic Super Bowl Ads of All Time," 31 Jan. 2019 Another cloud in the horizon: Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan) and her simmering vengeance against Negan. Josh Wigler, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Walking Dead' Team Previews Season 9 Evolution: It Takes a "Quantum Leap Forward"," 16 Apr. 2018 By Raisa Bruner June 29, 2018 Drake is back with a vengeance on Scorpion, the Toronto rapper’s first output since last year’s blockbuster More Life. Raisa Bruner, Time, "5 Songs You Need to Listen to This Week," 29 June 2018 Johnson, who missed the 2017-18 indoor season and missed the outdoor state championships last year, came back with a vengeance on Memorial Day weekend. Craig Clary, baltimoresun.com, "Western Tech track athletes overcome obstacles at state championship meet," 30 May 2018 Now fiery with self-recognition and full of speeches (her own #MeToo moment), Dolores and her loyal comrades take vengeance on human and cyborg alike, setting off to affirm Dolores's vision of a real world that lies beyond Westworld. Hank Stuever, chicagotribune.com, "'Westworld' gets a needed upgrade in its pretentious quest for the meaning of not-life," 22 Apr. 2018 The Cut] Watch this: Why the Soviets doctored this iconic photo This photo conceals a clue to a brutal story of vengeance. Vox Staff, Vox, "Vox Sentences: 16 shots in 14 seconds," 3 Oct. 2018 The theater of feminine vengeance is a curious one, born of an oft-unspoken recognition that women are disproportionately targeted by any number of entities inflicting pain. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Sweet Revenge of Ocean’s 8," 12 June 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near vengeance

Venezuela, Gulf of

venge

vengeable

vengeance

vengeant

vengeful

venger

Statistics for vengeance

Last Updated

30 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vengeance

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

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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

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Comments on vengeance

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