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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for vindictiveness
Historical Examples
  • "Some of them are ten feet in diameter," Johnny said, I thought with a bit of vindictiveness in his tone.

    Do Unto Others Mark Clifton
  • But they had not saved him from the vindictiveness of Gustavus.

  • He sat up stiffly, the sarcastic grin leaving his face, and replaced by an expression of vindictiveness.

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

    Mistress Wilding Rafael Sabatini
  • But the Federalists pursued Mr. Jefferson with a vindictiveness which has no parallel, in this country.

  • He turned slowly back with baffled anger and vindictiveness.

  • He had pursued them with a vindictiveness that was almost without a parallel.

    The Squire's Daughter Silas K(itto) Hocking
  • In an instant I had him by the hair and was biting with all the fury of vindictiveness.

    The Blind Spot Austin Hall
  • None at all, if our ire has these two features of unreasonableness and vindictiveness.

    Explanation of Catholic Morals John H. Stapleton
  • He hated the Hindu noble with all the vindictiveness of his nature.

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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