- to take vengeance or exact satisfaction for: to avenge a grave insult.
- to take vengeance on behalf of: He avenged his brother.
Origin of avenge
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Avenge, revenge both imply to inflict pain or harm in return for pain or harm inflicted on oneself or those persons or causes to which one feels loyalty. The two words were formerly interchangeable, but have been differentiated until they now convey widely diverse ideas. Avenge is now restricted to inflicting punishment as an act of retributive justice or as a vindication of propriety: to avenge a murder by bringing the criminal to trial. Revenge implies inflicting pain or harm to retaliate for real or fancied wrongs; a reflexive pronoun is often used with this verb: Iago wished to revenge himself upon Othello.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for avenger
He could imagine himself an Islamist avenger like that masked monster in black who appears in the ISIS snuff videos.The Muslim Convert Behind America’s First Workplace Beheading
September 27, 2014
But the avenger is held to a standard of precision in the retaliation he seeks.Numbers Don’t Tell the Mideast Story
July 10, 2014
Then Reagan hit the scene and became their avenger against affirmative action and so on, and the rest you know.Class Consciousness Still Makes a Difference
June 6, 2012
Chris Evans endured months of nausea-inducing workouts to bulk up for Captain America: The First Avenger.Invasion of the Bodybuilders
June 6, 2011
Twas seen and told how an avenger survived the fiend, as was learned afar.Beowulf
But the Avenger was soon in the wind's eye of her; and at daylight was no longer to be seen.
But the Avenger did not gain her rendezvous as soon as she expected.
The Avenger also tacked and kept close under the frigate's counter.
When I was on board of the wreck of the Avenger, I found this book floating in the cabin.
- (usually tr) to inflict a punishment in retaliation for (harm, injury, etc) done to (a person or persons); take revenge for or on behalf ofto avenge a crime; to avenge a murdered friend
C14: from Old French avengier, from vengier, from Latin vindicāre; see vengeance, vindicate
The use of avenge with a reflexive pronoun was formerly considered incorrect, but is now acceptable: she avenged herself on the man who killed her daughter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for avenger
1530s, agent noun from avenge (v.). Spenser (1596) has avengeress but no mention of Mrs. Peel.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper