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avenge

[uh-venj]
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verb (used with object), a·venged, a·veng·ing.
  1. to take vengeance or exact satisfaction for: to avenge a grave insult.
  2. to take vengeance on behalf of: He avenged his brother.
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Origin of avenge

1325–75; Middle English avengen < Old French avengier, equivalent to a- a-5 + vengier < Latin vindicāre; see vindicate
Related formsa·venge·ful, adjectivea·veng·er, nouna·veng·ing·ly, adverbun·a·venged, adjectiveun·a·veng·ing, adjectiveun·a·veng·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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Synonym study

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.

Antonyms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

vindicate, chasten, punish, chastise, revenge, repay, redress, requite, payback, retribute, venge

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British Dictionary definitions for avenge

avenge

verb
  1. (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
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Derived Formsavenger, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Old French avengier, from vengier, from Latin vindicāre; see vengeance, vindicate

usage

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 avenge

v.

late 14c., from Anglo-French avenger, Old French avengier, from a- "to" (see ad-) + vengier "take revenge" (Modern French venger), from Latin vindicare "to claim, avenge, punish" (see vindicate). Related: Avenged; avenging.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper