a private feud in which the members of the family of a murdered person seek to avenge the murder by killing the slayer or one of the slayer's relatives, especially such vengeance as once practiced in Corsica and parts of Italy.
any prolonged and bitter feud, rivalry, contention, or the like: a political vendetta.

Origin of vendetta

1850–55; < Italian < Latin vindicta vengeance; see vindictive
Related formsven·det·tist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vendetta

Contemporary Examples of vendetta

Historical Examples of vendetta

  • He did not proclaim the vendetta against the assassin of his father.

  • He was hers by marriage, and in marrying her had wedded the vendetta.

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter

  • Revenge, Avenger, Retribution, Vendetta; none appealed to him.

    Space Viking

    Henry Beam Piper

  • If ever I were in any vendetta business I should pick Gaspard first.

    Once a Week

    Alan Alexander Milne

  • And is that impossible person, Mr. Marcus Stepney, also in the vendetta?

    The Angel of Terror

    Edgar Wallace

British Dictionary definitions for vendetta



a private feud, originally between Corsican or Sicilian families, in which the relatives of a murdered person seek vengeance by killing the murderer or some member of his family
any prolonged feud, quarrel, etc
Derived Formsvendettist, noun

Word Origin for vendetta

C19: from Italian, from Latin vindicta, from vindicāre to avenge; see vindicate
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 vendetta

1855, from Italian vendetta "a feud, blood feud," from Latin vindicta "revenge" (see vindictive). Especially associated with Corsica.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper