vindictive

adjective
vin·​dic·​tive | \ vin-ˈdik-tiv How to pronounce vindictive (audio) \

Definition of vindictive

1a : disposed to seek revenge : vengeful
b : intended for or involving revenge
2 : intended to cause anguish or hurt : spiteful

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Other Words from vindictive

vindictively adverb
vindictiveness noun

Synonyms for vindictive

Synonyms

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Examples of vindictive in a Sentence

Well, maybe actually waging vendettas is a bad idea, but to be known for your vindictiveness can be a great advantage, for then people will take care not to cross you. And maybe the surest way of acquiring a reputation for vindictiveness is actually to be vindictive. — David Papineau, New York Times Book Review, 11 May 1997 And though his [John Simon's] caustic wit can sometimes sound more personally vindictive than objectively critical, it allows him to plow through a lot of literary pretentiousness. — Andrea Barnet, New York Times Book Review, 19 Mar. 1989 The bear, seen in many aspects as humanlike, was subject to ambivalent attitudes: mainly, he was seen as a stand-in for benevolent supernaturals, but sometimes also as a dangerous and at times a vindictive and harmful one. — William W. Fitzhugh & Aron Crowell, Crossroads of Continents, 1988 A machine gun lashed at him from across the river.  … In the darkness, it spat a vindictive white light like an acetylene torch, and its sound was terrifying. — Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead, 1948 In observing so long a silence I have been influenced much more by a vindictive purpose,—a purpose to punish you for your suspicion that I could possibly feel myself hurt or offended by any critical suggestion of yours … — William Cowper 26 Feb. 1791, in William Cowper's Letters, Edward Verrall Lucas, editor1924 It is not true that suffering ennobles the character; happiness does that sometimes, but suffering, for the most part, makes men petty and vindictive. — W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence, 1919 be careful not to annoy the vindictive old woman who lives down the street
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Recent Examples on the Web The paranoid feeling of being trapped inside some vindictive simulacrum is symptomatic of lives spent online. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: ‘Reality and Other Stories’ Review," 26 Mar. 2021 Moving its major from Trump National has been debated internally at the PGA for more than two years, but executives have been reluctant to antagonize a famously vindictive man who controls the Internal Revenue Service. Eamon Lynch, Detroit Free Press, "Donald Trump is a scar on the game of golf: Opinion," 10 Jan. 2021 Instead, Mann’s meritless and vindictive pursuit of Mark Steyn and the Competitive Enterprise Institute continues (Steyn quoted a CEI critique of Mann in his post). The Editors, National Review, "A Victory, but Miles to Go," 19 Mar. 2021 The police union countered that such a rule would be used by vindictive supervisors to dig up age-old minor violations against employees. Joshua Fechter, San Antonio Express-News, "Talks begin over new contract for San Antonio police amid calls for reform, upcoming vote on bargaining rights," 12 Feb. 2021 Republican senators are now claiming that an impeachment trial would be too vindictive or too dangerous. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Senate Is Failing," 26 Jan. 2021 Others argued that Twitter needed to build policies for the long term and that any action taken would be seen as a politically vindictive move against Trump. Washington Post, "How Twitter, on the front lines of history, finally decided to ban Trump," 16 Jan. 2021 While most Republicans rejected impeachment as unnecessary, vindictive or rushed, 10 of them broke with their colleagues. Jon Greenberg, Detroit Free Press, "Fact-checking the House impeachment debate on Trump, Capitol riot," 14 Jan. 2021 There seemed to be not just a sad acknowledgment of the limitations of African Americans in the church, but sort of a vindictive quality to him. The Salt Lake Tribune, "What you may not know about Mormon historian Richard Bushman — for one, he was agnostic when he went on his mission," 31 Dec. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for vindictive

Latin vindicta revenge, vindication, from vindicare

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Time Traveler for vindictive

Time Traveler

The first known use of vindictive was in the 15th century

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Statistics for vindictive

Last Updated

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vindictive.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vindictive. Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for vindictive

vindictive

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of vindictive

disapproving : having or showing a desire to hurt someone who has hurt or caused problems for you

vindictive

adjective
vin·​dic·​tive | \ vin-ˈdik-tiv How to pronounce vindictive (audio) \

Kids Definition of vindictive

1 : likely to seek revenge a vindictive person
2 : meant to be harmful vindictive remarks

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Comments on vindictive

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