- to take vengeance or exact satisfaction for: to avenge a grave insult.
- to take vengeance on behalf of: He avenged his brother.
Origin of 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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for unavenged
They denounced the anger of God who would not leave Du Bourg unavenged.The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2)
Henry Martyn Baird
She spoke; and burying her face in the pillow, 'Death it will be,' she cries, 'and unavenged; but death be it.The Aeneid of Virgil
His fall is not unavenged on the Saracens and on the traitor.A History of French Literature
To death they rush, but rude their shock—not unavenged they died.
Must he lie in his grave, unavenged, until the Day of Judgment?Mount Royal, Volume 3 of 3
Mary Elizabeth Braddon
- (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
C14: from Old French avengier, from vengier, from Latin vindicāre; see vengeance, vindicate
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 unavenged
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper