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[ven-juh ns] /ˈvɛn dʒəns/
infliction of injury, harm, humiliation, or the like, on a person by another who has been harmed by that person; violent revenge:
But have you the right to vengeance?
an act or opportunity of inflicting such trouble:
to take one's vengeance.
the desire for revenge:
a man full of vengeance.
Obsolete. hurt; injury.
Obsolete. curse; imprecation.
with a vengeance,
  1. with force or violence.
  2. greatly; extremely.
  3. to an unreasonable, excessive, or surprising degree:
    He attacked the job with a vengeance.
Origin of vengeance
1250-1300; Middle English < Old French, equivalent to vengi(er) to avenge (see venge) + -ance -ance
1. requital, retaliation.
1. forgiveness.
Synonym Study
1. See revenge. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for vengeance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • From this marble Phidias sculptured a statue of vengeance, which was called Rhamnusia.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • He would avenge me, it is true, but it is not to him that I shall look for vengeance.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • This was the vengeance for which she had longed, for which she had plotted, the vengeance she had at last achieved.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • God's object at that time was not the safety of the Jews, but vengeance.

  • Who knew what vengeance they might take for the killing of the Padres?

    The Trail Book Mary Austin
British Dictionary definitions for vengeance


the act of or desire for taking revenge; retributive punishment
with a vengeance, (intensifier): the 70's have returned with a vengeance
Word Origin
C13: from Old French, from venger to avenge, from Latin vindicāre to punish; see vindicate
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
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Word Origin and History for vengeance

c.1300, from Anglo-French vengeaunce, Old French vengeance "revenge," from vengier "take revenge," from Latin vindicare "to set free, claim, avenge" (see vindicate).

Vengeance is mine, ... saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. [Paul to the Romans, xii:19-20]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with vengeance


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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