One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person who deliberately destroys or damages property belonging to others.‘the rear window of the car was smashed by vandals’
barbarian, philistine, vulgarian, savage, brute, beast, boor, oaf, ruffian, thug, lout, hoodlum, hooligan, rowdy, bully boy, brawlerView synonyms
- ‘The vandals broke into the car, damaged the ignition and stole her walking stick.’
- ‘We have had many problems over the years with vandals, litter, graffiti, drugs and drink.’
- ‘Police have pledged to step up patrols in a bid to get tough with the vandals.’
- ‘A woman today told of her horror after every room in her house was spray-painted by vandals.’
- ‘Every public bench along the river had been systematically smashed by vandals last summer.’
- ‘Only weeks ago, vandals set fire to a portable toilet in a school playground.’
- ‘CCTV cameras will be installed and fencing will be erected to prevent vandals moving in.’
- ‘The skateboard park has already been targeted by vandals who smashed glass bottles over the site.’
- ‘Angry shop owners are calling on police to get tough with vandals who are targeting their businesses.’
- ‘The play area was fenced off in September after vandals left the site unsafe for young children to play.’
- ‘A mother has hit out at vandals who damaged a memorial to her teenage daughter.’
- ‘He said all the trees on the land were damaged by vandals four months ago and only replaced this week.’
- ‘Windows were smashed and the roof was damaged but the vandals failed to get into the building.’
- ‘The couple believe vandals deliberately dropped the heavy panel on to their car from a bridge.’
- ‘Generous people have raised money to replace church windows that were destroyed by vandals.’
- ‘Why do mindless vandals frequently ruin our beautiful parks and public buildings?’
- ‘Council chiefs have slammed vandals who deliberately damaged a historic priory.’
- ‘Residents have appealed for police patrols to be stepped up to rid an estate of yobs and vandals.’
- ‘The school has been damaged by vandals on a number of occasions over the last few years.’
- ‘A woman who is a repeat victim of car vandals has hit out against the yobs who damage property.’
2A member of a Germanic people that ravaged Gaul, Spain, Rome (455), and North Africa in the 4th–5th centuries.
- ‘At Carthage, the pirate kingdom of the Vandals outlived imperial Rome by several decades.’
- ‘Worse, the Vandals had entered into North Africa, cutting Rome off from its supply of grain.’
- ‘When the Vandals launched a massive invasion of Gaul in 406, decades of fighting ensued, overstretching the Roman defences.’
- ‘The Vandals occupied North Africa, successfully assimilating late Roman art.’
- ‘Following the decline of the Romans, the Vandals, Visigoths, and Byzantine Greeks successively set up their own empires.’
From Latin Vandalus, of Germanic origin. vandal (sense 1) dates from the mid 17th century.
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