venge·​ful | \ ˈvenj-fəl How to pronounce vengeful (audio) \

Definition of vengeful

: revengeful: such as
a : seeking to avenge
b : serving to gain vengeance

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Other Words from vengeful

vengefully \ ˈvenj-​fə-​lē How to pronounce vengefully (audio) \ adverb
vengefulness noun

Synonyms for vengeful


revengeful, vindictive

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Examples of vengeful in a Sentence

The robbery was committed by a vengeful former employee. The fire was a vengeful act of destruction.

Recent Examples on the Web

And then there are the disaffected Conservative MPs put off not just by Johnson’s stance on Brexit but by his vengeful firing of many of Theresa May’s cabinet ministers within hours of his move into 10 Downing Street. Parker Richards, The New Republic, "The Woman Who Could Beat Boris Johnson," 29 July 2019 The Cyber Civil Rights Initiative’s research has shown that about 80 percent of nonconsensual pornography actually gets shared as impersonal entertainment, and by strangers rather a vengeful ex. Emma Grey Ellis, WIRED, "New York's Revenge Porn Law Is a Flawed Step Forward," 24 July 2019 The messages uncovered a vengeful approach to government, attacks on journalists, threats to turn over political opponents to the police as well as homophobic and misogynistic remarks. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "Royal Caribbean cancels stop in Puerto Rico due to protests over governor," 17 July 2019 Praetorius looked anomalous and gave a one-dimensional performance with stock gestures meant to show vengeful anger. Robert Greskovic, WSJ, "‘The Bournonville Legacy’ Review: Excerpts From a Ballet Master," 11 July 2019 These books — a trilogy about a police hunt for a vengeful killer — went into print two years later, ultimately selling more than 1.2 million copies. New York Times, "How to Catch a Killer in China: Another Chinese Crime Novel Goes Global," 4 June 2018 Protests continued after the leak of vengeful and offensive chat messages between Puerto Rico's governor and his inner circle. Trisha Ahmed And Delaney Strunk, CNN, "Quickly catch up on the day's news," 17 July 2019 The custody case, led by his vengeful mother, is less about Mary Louise’s grandchildren and more about her late child. Morgan Baila,, "Big Little Lies Season 2, Episode 6: 10 Things I Resent About You," 15 July 2019 The first cast of the two was the stronger, with 73-year-old Ms. Englund, as the narrative’s vengeful witch, making chilling drama of her work. Robert Greskovic, WSJ, "‘The Bournonville Legacy’ Review: Excerpts From a Ballet Master," 11 July 2019

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

circa 1586, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vengeful

venge + -ful entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near vengeful







venia aetatis

Statistics for vengeful

Last Updated

7 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for vengeful

The first known use of vengeful was circa 1586

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More Definitions for vengeful



English Language Learners Definition of vengeful

: feeling or showing a desire to harm someone who has harmed you : feeling or showing a desire for vengeance


venge·​ful | \ ˈvenj-fəl How to pronounce vengeful (audio) \

Kids Definition of vengeful

: wanting revenge

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More from Merriam-Webster on vengeful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for vengeful

Spanish Central: Translation of vengeful

Nglish: Translation of vengeful for Spanish Speakers

Comments on vengeful

What made you want to look up vengeful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a wrong name or inappropriate designation

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