[ uh-venj ]
See synonyms for: avengeavengingavenger on Thesaurus.com

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.

Origin of avenge

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English avengen, from Old French avengier, equivalent to a- prefix meaning “toward, increase” (see a-5) + vengier, from Latin vindicāre; see vindicate

synonym study For avenge

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.

Other words for avenge

Opposites for avenge

Other words from avenge

  • a·venge·ful, adjective
  • a·veng·er, noun
  • a·veng·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·a·venged, adjective
  • un·a·veng·ing, adjective
  • un·a·veng·ing·ly, adverb

Words Nearby avenge

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use avenge in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for avenge


/ (əˈvɛndʒ) /

  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 of: to avenge a crime; to avenge a murdered friend

Origin of avenge

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

usage For avenge

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

Derived forms of avenge

  • avenger, noun

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