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vindictive

[ vin-dik-tiv ]
/ vɪnˈdɪk tɪv /
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See synonyms for: vindictive / vindictively / vindictiveness on Thesaurus.com

adjective
disposed or inclined to revenge; vengeful: a vindictive person.
proceeding from or showing a revengeful spirit: vindictive rumors.
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Origin of vindictive

First recorded in 1610–20; from Latin vindict(a) “vengeance” + -ive

synonym study for vindictive

1. See spiteful.

OTHER WORDS FROM vindictive

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH vindictive

vindicatory, vindictive
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

VOCAB BUILDER

What does vindictive mean?

Vindictive is usually used to describe someone who’s known for frequently seeking revenge. It can also be used to describe the vengeful actions of such a person.

A person described as vindictive is usually someone who holds a grudge and who always tries to get back at people who they think have wronged them in some way. Vindictive people retaliate against others for any insult or perceived slight. Vindictive people do not let things go.

The word is always used negatively to imply criticism of such people or actions.

Example: I’ve never seen someone so vindictive—he’s obsessed with getting back at everyone who has ever slighted him, even when it happened years ago.

Where does vindictive come from?

The first records of the word vindictive come from the early 1600s. It comes from the Latin vindicta, meaning “revenge,” from the verb vindicāre, “to vindicate.”

A single action can be called vindictive if it’s particularly spiteful. But the word is most commonly used to describe people who show a pattern of seeking revenge for even the slightest slights, even those that were unintended. The retaliation of a vindictive person can come in many forms, but you can be pretty sure that it will come in some form. That’s because vindictive people do not forgive and forget.

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What are some other forms of vindictive?

  • vindictively (adverb)
  • vindictiveness (noun)

What are some synonyms for vindictive?

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

 

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

 

How is vindictive used in real life?

Vindictive is always used negatively to criticize someone for being focused on revenge.

 

 

Try using vindictive!

Which of the following words does NOT describe someone considered vindictive?

A. forgiving
B. vengeful
C. venomous
D. grudging

How to use vindictive in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for vindictive

vindictive
/ (vɪnˈdɪktɪv) /

adjective
disposed to seek vengeance
characterized by spite or rancour
English law (of damages) in excess of the compensation due to the plaintiff and imposed in punishment of the defendant

Derived forms of vindictive

vindictively, adverbvindictiveness, noun

Word Origin for vindictive

C17: from Latin vindicta revenge, from vindicāre to 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
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