Definition of vengeance in US English:



  • Punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong.

    • ‘It is blatantly unethical to wreak vengeance upon innocent bystanders.’
    • ‘The blood of these innocents will cry out to Heaven for vengeance and vengeance will be theirs.’
    • ‘How can the death penalty been seen as anything other than vengeance?’
    • ‘To some extent, therefore, retribution reflects society's desire for vengeance.’
    • ‘If they fail, the electorate in due course exacts its vengeance by throwing them out.’
    • ‘But such cathartic vengeance would do nothing to curb the menace of transnational terrorism.’
    • ‘In the end, I set the game of chess back a few hundred years and Robert had his vengeance.’
    • ‘The resulting outcry and desire for vengeance will rally the Arab states to another invasion.’
    • ‘The official machinery was blatantly misused to wreak vengeance and carry out vendetta.’
    • ‘I say that the death penalty can act as both deterrent and public vengeance upon the perpetrator.’
    • ‘The novel is a tale of vengeance wreaked by one jealous twin on her sister across decades, cities and continents.’
    • ‘I have no qualms with the premise of a pimp exacting vengeance from beyond the grave.’
    • ‘When do we mark the passage from justice to vengeance and from vengeance to new injustice?’
    • ‘A young chicken farmer is torn apart when he's caught between vengeance and his love of a churn girl.’
    • ‘But even I will admit that England achieved more than vengeance against Argentina.’
    • ‘The point of a mystery is that the culprit is revealed to general surprise, not that vengeance is exacted for his crime.’
    • ‘We still have a few scores to settle and last week was a great start to achieving the satisfaction of vengeance.’
    • ‘It would be a sin to wreak vengeance on the innocent, but it would be a temptation very tough to control.’
    • ‘He was also accused of seeking vengeance against colleagues who reported his corruption.’
    • ‘So in the end it sort of has a happy ending, in that you get to see Grace exact vengeance.’
    revenge, avengement, retribution, retributive justice, retaliation, requital, reprisal
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  • with a vengeance

    • Used to emphasize the degree to which something occurs or is true.

      ‘her headache was back with a vengeance’
      • ‘The Manchester United empire continues to strike back with a vengeance rather than crumbling away.’
      • ‘After that, reality will click back in with a vengeance as they face a test as tough as any exam - trying to survive financially.’
      • ‘Though early in the mission, the Metallica plan appears to be working with a vengeance.’
      • ‘Day traders are back with a vengeance, illustrated by the increased traffic at online trading sites.’
      • ‘Two months later, arthritis returned with a vengeance and he had no recourse but to go back to the acupuncturist.’
      • ‘The Wiltshire Festival is set to return this summer - and the organisers say it will be back with a vengeance.’
      • ‘What the summer proved beyond doubt is that the gulf between Northern and Southern Hemisphere rugby is back with a vengeance.’
      • ‘Locals say a lot of this woodland is regrowth that's come back with a vengeance, in the absence of fire and rabbits.’
      • ‘I tear at the paper with a vengeance to reveal that my dream had come true also.’
      • ‘Make no mistake, as a father I abhor these people with a vengeance.’
      vigorously, strenuously, energetically, with a will, with might and main, with all the stops out, for all one is worth, to the utmost, to the greatest extreme, to the full, to the limit, all out, flat out, at full tilt
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Middle English: from Old French, from venger, vengier ‘avenge’, from Latin vindicare ‘vindicate’.