View synonyms for vengeance


[ ven-juhns ]


  1. 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?

    Synonyms: retaliation, requital

    Antonyms: forgiveness

  2. an act or opportunity of inflicting such trouble:

    to take one's vengeance.

  3. the desire for revenge:

    a man full of vengeance.

  4. Obsolete. hurt; injury.
  5. Obsolete. curse; imprecation.


/ ˈvɛndʒəns /


  1. the act of or desire for taking revenge; retributive punishment
  2. with a vengeance

    the 70's have returned with a vengeance

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Word History and Origins

Origin of vengeance1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English, from Old French; equivalent to venge + -ance

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Word History and Origins

Origin of vengeance1

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

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. 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.

More idioms and phrases containing vengeance

see with a vengeance .

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Synonym Study

See revenge.

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Example Sentences

“Worry is back with a vengeance,” said Grant Steadman, president of North America for Dunnhumby, in a press release.

From Fortune

In that pocket, tree limbs snapped with a vengeance, creating 100,000 power outages.

Ezio Auditore’s initial arc is one of vengeance, but we see him grow beyond that.

A strict lockdown successfully contained the disease, but it came back with a vengeance in the fall.

From Vox

He’s a relentless force of holy retribution, mysterious in his origins and unrelenting in his taste for vengeance against the demons who’ve wronged him.

From Time

But all these groups are reaching a point where vengeance takes priority over politics or, much less, public relations.

Despite a dizzying number of women coming forward against her husband, Camille Cosby refuses to sharpen her blade of vengeance.

U.S. airstrikes continue, but militants from the so-called Islamic State are still attacking with a vengeance on every front.

In January, if the GOP wins Senate control, he will go after Obama and the EPA with a vengeance.

However, there is at least a sense that security is back on the agenda with a vengeance.

He could not bear to open his dreadful situation to his Uncle David, nor to kill himself, nor to defy the vengeance of Longcluse.

The teeth of beasts, and scorpions, and serpents, and the sword taking vengeance upon the ungodly unto destruction.

And they sought out all iniquities, till vengeance came upon them, and put an end to all their sins.

Thy nakedness shall be discovered, and thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and no man shall resist me.

If he had set out to arouse emotion in these two sluggish breasts he had done so with a vengeance.


Related Words

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More About Vengeance

What does vengeance mean?

Vengeance is a desire for revengeretaliation against or punishment of someone for some kind of harm that they caused or wrongdoing that they did (whether real or perceived).

It can also be used as an even more intense synonym for revenge.

Vengeance often involves deep anger and a perhaps obsessive desire to get even by inflicting similar harm to the person who initially harmed the person seeking revenge. When it means the same thing as revenge, vengeance is often planned out over a period of time.

The related adjective vengeful is used to describe someone who is determined to seek vengeance or someone who is inclined to seek vengeance—someone who is vindictive.

The phrase with a vengeance means with great violence or intensity, as in My allergies have come back with a vengeance—I’ve been sneezing all day. 

Example: The vengeance in your heart will eat away at you, which is like letting your enemy defeat you yet again.

Where does vengeance come from?

The first records of the word vengeance come from the 1200s. It comes from the Old French venger, meaning “to avenge,” from the Latin verb vindicāre, meaning “to protect,” “to avenge,” or “to punish.” The words revenge, avenge, vindicate, and vindictive are all based on the same root. The suffix -ance is used to form nouns.

Vengeance implies an intensity to one’s desire for revenge. It’s often used alongside words like fury and wrath in accounts of those who have been wronged in some way. The phrase “Vengeance is mine” comes from a Bible verse advising people not to seek revenge.

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What are some synonyms for vengeance?

What are some words that share a root or word element with vengeance



What are some words that often get used in discussing vengeance?

How is vengeance used in real life?

The word vengeance is usually used in situations that involve serious wrongdoing, but it’s sometimes used in the context of less serious situations in order to be humorous.


Try using vengeance!

True or False?

The word vengeance can be used as a synonym of revenge.

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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