• synonyms


[van-dl-iz-uh m]
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  1. deliberately mischievous or malicious destruction or damage of property: vandalism of public buildings.
  2. the conduct or spirit characteristic of the Vandals.
  3. willful or ignorant destruction of artistic or literary treasures.
  4. a vandalic act.
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Origin of vandalism

1790–1800; vandal + -ism; compare French vandalisme
Related formsvan·dal·is·tic, van·dal·ish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for vandalism


  1. the wanton or deliberate destruction caused by a vandal or an instance of such destruction
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Derived Formsvandalistic or vandalish, adjective
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 vandalism


1798, from French vandalisme, first used by Henri Grégoire, Bishop of Blois, c.1793; see vandal + -ism.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper