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

Vassall doubts vengeance for an infidelity was a motive. Lynette Rice, EW.com, "The tragic, unsolved murder of Hogan's Heroes star Bob Crane," 26 Aug. 2019 The witches of ’90s films such as Practical Magic and The Craft deploy vengeance spells against their male abusers. Pam Grossman, The Atlantic, "The Wizard of Oz Invented the ‘Good Witch’," 25 Aug. 2019 The busts offer tales of danger and vengeance, and there’s nothing the internet loves more than schadenfreude. Hanna Kozlowska, Quartz, "There’s a global movement of Facebook vigilantes who hunt pedophiles," 24 July 2019 When he’s kidnapped by an off-duty LAPD officer, Vic (Bautista), who is on a vengeance mission and conscripts Stu into the torture and murder of civilians. Katie Walsh, Twin Cities, "Billed an action comedy, ‘Stuber’ is more like a cinematic car wreck," 11 July 2019 There’s no vengeance, no final celestial reckoning, no kingdom of the absolute. Mark Mahaney, Smithsonian, "Danny Thompson’s Blazing Nitromethane-Fueled Pursuit of Racing Glory," 10 July 2019 Today's cheap money bubble has arrived with full vengeance on the heels of $20 trillion in global central bank intervention through quantitative easing and a historic collapse in bond yields, which has forced money into equities. Sven Henrich For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Central bank rate cuts are inflating a cheap money bubble," 12 Aug. 2019 This is a profound and difficult film, an attempt to grapple with the existence and mindless perpetuation of evil, and to suggest both the fleeting satisfaction and the eternal futility of vengeance. Los Angeles Times, "‘The Babadook’ director Jennifer Kent tackles violence, misogyny and racism in ‘The Nightingale’," 12 Aug. 2019 But Jupiter’s jealous wife, Juno, soon arrives to take vengeance on the pair. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Voices sublime in Opera NEO’s modern world of ‘La Calisto’," 10 Aug. 2019

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

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vengeable

vengeance

vengeant

vengeful

venger

Statistics for vengeance

Last Updated

3 Sep 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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