- (initial capital letter) a member of a Germanic people who in the 5th century a.d. ravaged Gaul and Spain, settled in Africa, and in a.d. 455 sacked Rome.
- a person who willfully or ignorantly destroys or mars something beautiful or valuable.
- (initial capital letter) of or relating to the Vandals.
- imbued with or characterized by vandalism.
Origin of vandal
Related Words for vandaldestroyer, looter, thief, plunderer, hoodlum, mischief-maker, pirate, despoiler, pillager, ravager
Examples from the Web for vandal
Contemporary Examples of vandal
Mayor Bloomberg agreed that the “vandal” must be caught and charged with vandalism.Banksy Bails Due to “Police Activity”
October 23, 2013
Congratulations," reads Letterbombing.com in its welcoming headline, "You're about to become an Internet vandal.How to Hack Palin's Facebook Page
October 28, 2010
Historical Examples of vandal
The vandal had known his way about in a laboratory, that was obvious.Damned If You Don't
Gordon Randall Garrett
Luce paused in her task of placing the knives and forks to look at the vandal.Her Mother's Secret
Emma D. E. N. Southworth
Some vandal has broken nearly every pane of glass in the house!The Young Bridge-Tender
Arthur M. Winfield
I looked upon my father as a Byzantian sage might have looked on a Vandal.My Novel, Complete
“We shall but exchange a Goth for a Vandal,” his wife replied.The Daughters of Danaus
- a person who deliberately causes damage or destruction to personal or public property
- (as modifier)vandal instincts
Word Origin for vandal
- a member of a Germanic people that raided Roman provinces in the 3rd and 4th centuries ad before devastating Gaul (406–409), conquering Spain and N Africa, and sacking Rome (455): crushed by Belisarius at Carthage (533)
1660s, "willful destroyer of what is beautiful or venerable," from Vandals, name of the Germanic tribe that sacked Rome in 455 under Genseric, from Latin Vandalus (plural Vandali), from the tribe's name for itself (Old English Wendlas), from Proto-Germanic *Wandal- "Wanderer."
There does not seem to be in the story of the capture of Rome by the Vandals any justification for the charge of willful and objectless destruction of public buildings which is implied in the word 'vandalism.' It is probable that this charge grew out of the fierce persecution which was carried on by [the Vandal king] Gaiseric and his son against the Catholic Christians, and which is the darkest stain on their characters. ["Encyclopaedia Britannica," 13th ed., 1926]