• synonyms


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


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.


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

Examples from the Web for unavenged

Historical Examples

  • 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.

  • His fall is not unavenged on the Saracens and on the traitor.

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for unavenged


  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


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



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