[ ri-venj-fuhl ]
/ rɪˈvɛndʒ fəl /
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determined to have revenge; vindictive.
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Origin of revengeful

First recorded in 1580–90; revenge + -ful

synonym study for revengeful

See spiteful.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does revengeful mean?

Revengeful is used to describe someone who is determined to get revengeretaliation against or punishment of someone for some kind of harm that they caused or wrongdoing that they did (whether real or perceived).

Revengeful also means inclined to seek revenge. The adjective vindictive is a close synonym. A more commonly used synonym is vengeful.

Revengeful can be used to describe people or their actions.

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. This is usually what it means when someone is described as revengeful.

Example: Being revengeful does more damage to you than to the person you are intent on destroying.

Where does revengeful come from?

The first records of the word revengeful come from the late 1500s. Its base word, revenge, comes from the Old French revenger, from the Late Latin revindicāre, from the Latin verb vindicāre, meaning “to protect,” “to avenge,” or “to punish.” 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. 

People who are described as revengeful are often those who are inclined to seek revenge no matter how small the harm or slight is to begin with. The word often implies that such a person is petty and can’t stand to lose or be treated in a negative way without doing something to get even.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to revengeful?

What are some synonyms for revengeful?

What are some words that share a root or word element with revengeful



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

How is revengeful used in real life?

Revengeful is not commonly used. The words vindictive and vengeful mean the same thing and are more commonly used.



Try using revengeful!

Which of the following words is a synonym of revengeful?

A. vengeful
B. vindictive
C. retaliatory
D. all of the above

How to use revengeful in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for revengeful

/ (rɪˈvɛndʒfʊl) /

full of or characterized by desire for vengeance; vindictive

Derived forms of revengeful

revengefully, adverbrevengefulness, 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