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[vin-dik-tiv] /vɪnˈdɪk tɪv/
disposed or inclined to revenge; vengeful:
a vindictive person.
proceeding from or showing a revengeful spirit:
vindictive rumors.
Origin of vindictive
1610-20; < Latin vindict(a) vengeance + -ive
Related forms
vindictively, adverb
vindictiveness, noun
unvindictive, adjective
unvindictively, adverb
unvindictiveness, noun
Can be confused
vindicatory, vindictive.
1. unforgiving. See spiteful.
1. forgiving. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for vindictiveness
Historical Examples
  • The next time it came about, friendship, and not vindictiveness, was the cause.

  • But they had not saved him from the vindictiveness of Gustavus.

  • She was no longer alone and abandoned to the vindictiveness of rude and violent men.

    Mistress Wilding Rafael Sabatini
  • There was a vindictiveness in these crimes which no plea can extenuate.

    The Land We Live In

    Henry Mann
  • He turned slowly back with baffled anger and vindictiveness.

  • His face was red and white—blotchy with rage and vindictiveness.

    IT and Other Stories Gouverneur Morris
  • In his vindictiveness, he spoke with a candor unusual to him in his business dealings.

    Making People Happy Thompson Buchanan
  • In an instant I had him by the hair and was biting with all the fury of vindictiveness.

    The Blind Spot Austin Hall
  • He hated the Hindu noble with all the vindictiveness of his nature.

  • For these and other cases of vindictiveness, see Bingley, loc.

    Animal Intelligence George J. Romanes
British Dictionary definitions for vindictiveness


disposed to seek vengeance
characterized by spite or rancour
(English law) (of damages) in excess of the compensation due to the plaintiff and imposed in punishment of the defendant
Derived Forms
vindictively, adverb
vindictiveness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin vindicta revenge, from vindicāre to 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 vindictiveness

from vindictive + -ness.



1610s, from Latin vindicta "revenge" (see vindication). Related: Vindictively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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