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See more synonyms for vindictive on Thesaurus.com
  1. disposed or inclined to revenge; vengeful: a vindictive person.
  2. proceeding from or showing a revengeful spirit: vindictive rumors.
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Origin of vindictive

1610–20; < Latin vindict(a) vengeance + -ive
Related formsvin·dic·tive·ly, adverbvin·dic·tive·ness, nounun·vin·dic·tive, adjectiveun·vin·dic·tive·ly, adverbun·vin·dic·tive·ness, noun
Can be confusedvindicatory vindictive

Synonyms for vindictive

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Antonyms for vindictive

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for vindictiveness

revenge, spite, malevolence, meanness, vengefulness, evil, cruelty, maliciousness, anger, cussedness, orneriness, hatefulness, cattiness

Examples from the Web for vindictiveness

Historical Examples of vindictiveness

  • The next time it came about, friendship, and not vindictiveness, was the cause.

    The Boy Life of Napoleon

    Eugenie Foa

  • But they had not saved him from the vindictiveness of Gustavus.

  • She was no longer alone and abandoned to the vindictiveness of rude and violent men.

    Mistress Wilding

    Rafael Sabatini

  • There was a vindictiveness in these crimes which no plea can extenuate.

  • He turned slowly back with baffled anger and vindictiveness.

British Dictionary definitions for vindictiveness


  1. disposed to seek vengeance
  2. characterized by spite or rancour
  3. English law (of damages) in excess of the compensation due to the plaintiff and imposed in punishment of the defendant
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Derived Formsvindictively, 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

Word Origin and History for vindictiveness


from vindictive + -ness.

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1610s, from Latin vindicta "revenge" (see vindication). Related: Vindictively.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper