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  1. desiring or seeking vengeance; vindictive: a vengeful attitude.
  2. characterized by or showing a vindictive spirit: vengeful intentions.
  3. serving to inflict vengeance: a vengeful killing.

Origin of vengeful

First recorded in 1580–90; shortened form of revengeful
Related formsvenge·ful·ly, adverbvenge·ful·ness, nounun·venge·ful, adjective

Synonyms for vengeful

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for vengeful


  1. desiring revenge; vindictive
  2. characterized by or indicating a desire for revengea vengeful glance
  3. inflicting or taking revengewith vengeful blows
Derived Formsvengefully, adverbvengefulness, noun
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 vengeful

1580s, from obsolete venge "take revenge" + -ful. Related: Vengefully; vengefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper