Definition of avenge in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Inflict harm in return for (an injury or wrong done to oneself or another)

    ‘his determination to avenge the murder of his brother’
    ‘they are eager to avenge last year's Super Bowl defeat’
    • ‘He will play a Rajput prince who avenges his father's murder in what is being billed as ‘a chilling thriller’.’
    • ‘Is he a reincarnation of an ancient ancestor, unable to rest in peace until I had avenged his murder?’
    • ‘Having loaned three players to Morley and despite making a very bright start, Otley failed to avenge an early season defeat.’
    • ‘He promised to avenge the terrible wrongs done to them, and they responded enthusiastically.’
    • ‘Fights ensue as Lee goes about avenging deaths and righting wrongs.’
    • ‘He then offered his sword to the leader of the youths, saying that if he felt that a wrong should be avenged, he should do so now.’
    • ‘The spirit begs Hamlet to avenge the foul murder, but to leave Queen Gertrude unharmed.’
    • ‘If incest, the ultimate taboo, has indeed been broken, then the stakes for avenging the wrong, cleansing the community, and restoring order and stability, cannot be stronger.’
    • ‘In the hall Godwin had told Gyric that on the morrow he would pledge to avenge the harm done to his brother.’
    • ‘Nottingham gave their confidence a real boost with last week's win at Doncaster, who in turn will come to us keen to avenge a hefty home defeat at the start of the season.’
    • ‘He is a man bound by oath to avenge the wrongs inflicted on his home and, in pursuit of revenge, he will stop at nothing.’
    • ‘Her brothers sought an opportunity to avenge the wrong that causes men like Ulick to laugh and jest, and women to hide their faces and die.’
    • ‘Indeed, the Camorra spawned one of Italy's most notorious female criminals, Pupetta Maresca, who became famous in 1955 after she personally avenged the murder of her husband.’
    • ‘For my brother's honor, and our family's honor, his murder needed to be avenged.’
    • ‘York had barely threatened and 14-0 seemed a big half-time lead to turn over against a form team intent on avenging their early-season Huntington Stadium hammering.’
    • ‘Eager to avenge last month's defeat, his superior teamwork paid dividends.’
    • ‘Waterloo will be looking to avenge an early season loss to the Golden Hawks.’
    • ‘Orestes returned to Argos later and murdered her to avenge Agamemnon's death.’
    • ‘It is such myths (of past wrongs to be avenged or conformities to be observed) that trigger the chain of oppressions.’
    • ‘In the Australian courtroom there is no legal defence for her action, but in her mind she did the right thing, she was delivering justice, avenging the wrongs done to herself and her family.’
    take revenge for, take vengeance for, exact retribution for, requite
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Inflict harm on behalf of (oneself or someone else previously wronged or harmed)
      ‘we must avenge our dead’
      ‘she avenged herself after he broke off their engagement’
      ‘the warrior swore he would be avenged on their prince’
      • ‘Americans are more interested in avenging their dead, and rightly so.’
      • ‘He resigned his Treasury post in 1919 to protest the looming catastrophe of the Versailles treaty in which the victors avenged themselves against the defeated Germany with crippling war reparations.’
      • ‘He also expresses hope that Odysseus will return home and avenge himself.’
      • ‘He avenged himself as usual by writing a song about the incident, Day of the Locusts.’
      • ‘In acting out his anger against society, a terrorist is avenging himself for the raw deal he believes he has received at its hands.’
      • ‘And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies.’
      • ‘It is therefore natural for them to avenge themselves on city dwellers.’
      • ‘An angry and vengeful young teenager wanted the power to avenge a father murdered by Orcs.’
      • ‘Orestes had murdered his mother to avenge his father.’
      • ‘Anyway, her death will be avenged by a son of Clytaemnestra, who shall one day avenge his dead father.’
      • ‘They dove in, eager to avenge their fallen comrades, fellow subjects, and most of all, brothers.’
      • ‘Still, God granted victory to him that he alone avenged himself with sword when he needed help.’
      • ‘Samson avenged himself by taking a full house of enemies with him.’
      • ‘Dezra had avenged dead friends and crewmates by seeking and carrying out fitting and just punishment.’
      • ‘There would be something deeply wrong with the USA if it did not want to avenge itself for the worst terrorist attacks it has suffered in history.’
      • ‘Byron avenged himself in 1809 with his satire English Bards and Scotch Reviewers.’
      • ‘At least it looks like they have ‘done something’ to avenge the dead in New York.’
      • ‘He loved action movies - particularly ones in which nature avenged itself on humanity - and would recount the death of a dinosaur hunter as if it were a sidesplitting joke.’
      • ‘The biblical hero who avenged himself in a suicide mission is the wrong role model for the oppressed.’
      • ‘In the night Theo is visited by her ghost, who says she was murdered, and he must avenge her and then join her.’


Late Middle English: from Old French avengier, from a- (from Latin ad ‘to’) + vengier, from Latin vindicare ‘vindicate’.