verb (used with object), re·venged, re·veng·ing.

  1. to exact punishment or expiation for a wrong on behalf of, especially in a resentful or vindictive spirit: He revenged his murdered brother.
  2. to take vengeance for; inflict punishment for; avenge: He revenged his brother’s murder.

verb (used without object), re·venged, re·veng·ing.

  1. to take revenge.


  1. the act of revenging; retaliation for injuries or wrongs; vengeance.
  2. something done in vengeance.
  3. the desire to revenge; vindictiveness.
  4. an opportunity to retaliate or gain satisfaction.


  1. the act of retaliating for wrongs or injury received; vengeance
  2. something done as a means of vengeance
  3. the desire to take vengeance or retaliate
  4. a return match, regarded as a loser’s opportunity to even the score

verb (tr)

  1. to inflict equivalent injury or damage for (injury received); retaliate in return for
  2. to take vengeance for (oneself or another); avenge

late 14c., from Old French revengier, variant of revenchier “take revenge, avenge” (13c., Modern French revancher), from re-, intensive prefix (see re-), + vengier “take revenge,” from Latin vindicare “to lay claim to, avenge, punish” (see vindicate).

To avenge is “to get revenge” or “to take vengeance”; it suggests the administration of just punishment for a criminal or immoral act. Revenge seems to stress the idea of retaliation a bit more strongly and implies real hatred as its motivation. [“The Columbia Guide to Standard American English,” 1993]


1540s, from Middle French revenge, back-formation from revengier (see revenge (v.)).

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