• synonyms


[vin-di-kuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee]
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  1. tending or serving to vindicate.
  2. punitive; retributive: vindicatory killings.
Also vin·dic·a·tive [vin-dik-uh-tiv, vin-di-key-] /vɪnˈdɪk ə tɪv, ˈvɪn dɪˌkeɪ-/.

Origin of vindicatory

First recorded in 1640–50; vindicate + -ory1
Can be confusedvindicatory vindictive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vindicative

Historical Examples

  • His vindicative antipathy to you now meets a recompense in the just indignation of Providence.

    Letters and Literary Memorials of Samuel J. Tilden, v. 2

    Samuel J. Tilden

  • But in heaven, among the immortals, never was an unfortunate hero of the vindicative Muses so reduced into nothingness!

Word Origin and History for vindicative


1520s, from Old French vindicatif or directly from Medieval Latin vindicativus, from past participle stem of vindicare (see vindicate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper