[ ri-venj ]
/ r瑟藞v蓻nd蕭 /
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verb (used with object), re路venged, re路veng路ing.
to exact punishment or expiation for a wrong on behalf of, especially in a resentful or vindictive spirit: He revenged his murdered brother.
to take vengeance for; inflict punishment for; avenge: He revenged his brother's murder.
verb (used without object), re路venged, re路veng路ing.
to take revenge.
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Origin of revenge

1350鈥1400; Middle English revengen (v.) <Middle French, Old French revenger, equivalent to re-re- + venger to avenge <Latin vindic膩re;see vindicate

synonym study for revenge

1. See avenge. 4. Revenge, reprisal, retribution, vengeance suggest a punishment, or injury inflicted in return for one received. Revenge is the carrying out of a bitter desire to injure another for a wrong done to oneself or to those who are felt to be like oneself: to plot revenge. Reprisal, formerly any act of retaliation, is used specifically in warfare for retaliation upon the enemy for its (usually unlawful) actions: to make a raid in reprisal for one by the enemy. Retribution suggests just or deserved punishment, often without personal motives, for some evil done: a just retribution for wickedness. Vengeance is usually wrathful, vindictive, furious revenge: implacable vengeance.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2023


What does聽revenge mean?

Revenge is the act or process of retaliating against or punishing someone for some kind of harm that they caused or wrongdoing that they did (whether real or perceived).

It can also refer to the result of such efforts, as in After all this time, I will have revenge against those who have wronged me!

Revenge often involves an attempt to get even by inflicting similar harm to the person who initially harmed the person seeking revenge. Revenge has several other synonyms that each have different shades of meaning, including retribution, retaliation, and reprisal. But more than these words, revenge implies that such retaliation is personal and motivated by a deep anger and perhaps an obsessive desire to get even.

Revenge is often planned out over a period of time鈥攈itting someone back right after they hit you could be referred to as retaliation, but probably wouldn鈥檛 be called revenge. An informal synonym is payback鈥攇etting someone back for something they did to you, especially after time has passed.

The related word vengeance can be used as an even more intense synonym for revenge, but it also commonly refers to a desire for revenge, as in He was filled with vengeance.聽

Less commonly, revenge can be used as a verb meaning to get revenge, as in I will revenge the theft of my sister鈥檚 necklace or I will revenge myself for the crimes committed against me.聽

The related word avenge is much more commonly used in this way. To avenge is to get revenge or to inflict some form of punishment in retaliation for harm or wrongdoing done by someone else. However, avenge is more associated with justice and doesn鈥檛 always imply the same level of anger that revenge does.

The adjective revengeful is used to describe someone who is determined to get revenge or someone who is inclined to seek revenge鈥攕omeone who is vindictive. A more commonly used synonym is vengeful.

Example: Revenge never ends well, and becoming obsessed with it is like letting your enemy defeat you yet again.

Where does聽revenge come from?

The first records of the word revenge come from the 1300s. It comes from the Old French revenger, from the Late Latin revindic膩re, from the Latin verb vindic膩re, meaning 鈥渢o protect,鈥 鈥渢o avenge,鈥 or 鈥渢o punish.鈥 The words vengeance, avenge, vindicate, and vindictive are all based on the same root. The re- in revenge and synonyms like retribution, retaliation, and reprisal indicates that these things are done in response or reaction to another action.

The word revenge appears in the expression Revenge is a dish best served cold. This means that revenge is more satisfying when it鈥檚 inflicted upon someone long after they committed the original wrongdoing, perhaps because it will then be more unexpected. However, there is another saying: Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. This suggests that even if you are successful in getting revenge, you will destroy yourself in the process.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to revenge?

What are some synonyms for revenge?

What are some words that share a root or word element with revenge?聽



What are some words that often get used in discussing revenge?


What are some words 酶 may be commonly confused with?



How is聽revenge used in real life?

The word revenge is usually used in situations that involve serious wrongdoing, but it鈥檚 sometimes used in the context of less serious situations in order to be humorous.


Try using聽revenge!

True or False?

The word vengeance can be used as a synonym of revenge.

How to use revenge in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for revenge

/ (r瑟藞v蓻nd蕭) /

the act of retaliating for wrongs or injury received; vengeance
something done as a means of vengeance
the desire to take vengeance or retaliate
a return match, regarded as a loser's opportunity to even the score
verb (tr)
to inflict equivalent injury or damage for (injury received); retaliate in return for
to take vengeance for (oneself or another); avenge

Derived forms of revenge

revengeless, adjectiverevenger, nounrevenging, adjectiverevengingly, adverb

Word Origin for revenge

C14: from Old French revenger, from Late Latin revindic膩re, from re- + vindic膩re to vindicate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition 漏 William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 漏 HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012