infliction of injury, harm, humiliation, or the like, on a person by another who has been harmed by that person; violent revenge: But have you the right to vengeance?
an act or opportunity of inflicting such trouble: to take one's vengeance.
the desire for revenge: a man full of vengeance.
Obsolete. hurt; injury.
Obsolete. curse; imprecation.


    with a vengeance,
    1. with force or violence.
    2. greatly; extremely.
    3. to an unreasonable, excessive, or surprising degree: He attacked the job with a vengeance.

Origin of vengeance

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French, equivalent to vengi(er) to avenge (see venge) + -ance -ance

Synonyms for vengeance

Synonym study

1. See revenge.

Antonyms for vengeance Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vengeance

Contemporary Examples of vengeance

Historical Examples of vengeance

  • From this marble Phidias sculptured a statue of Vengeance, which was called Rhamnusia.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • He would avenge me, it is true, but it is not to him that I shall look for vengeance.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • This was the vengeance for which she had longed, for which she had plotted, the vengeance she had at last achieved.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • God's object at that time was not the safety of the Jews, but vengeance.

  • Who knew what vengeance they might take for the killing of the Padres?

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

British Dictionary definitions for vengeance



the act of or desire for taking revenge; retributive punishment
with a vengeance (intensifier)the 70's have returned with a vengeance

Word Origin for vengeance

C13: from Old French, from venger to avenge, from Latin vindicāre to punish; 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 vengeance

c.1300, from Anglo-French vengeaunce, Old French vengeance "revenge," from vengier "take revenge," from Latin vindicare "to set free, claim, avenge" (see vindicate).

Vengeance is mine, ... saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. [Paul to the Romans, xii:19-20]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with vengeance


see with a vengeance.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.