From Middle English avengen, borrowed from Old French avengier, from a- (upon) + vengier, from Latin vindicō, vindicāre.


  • IPA(key): /əˈvɛnd͡ʒ/
    • (file)


avenge (third-person singular simple present avenges, present participle avenging, simple past and past participle avenged)

  1. (transitive) To take vengeance (for); to exact satisfaction for by punishing the injuring party; to vindicate by inflicting pain or evil on a wrongdoer.
    to avenge the murder of his brother
  2. (intransitive, obsolete) To take vengeance.
  3. (transitive, archaic) To treat revengefully; to wreak vengeance on.
    • (Can we date this quote by Bishop Hall and provide title, author’s full name, and other details?)
      thy judgment in avenging thine enemies


Usage notesEdit

The object of "avenge" is generally the act of injury or the injured party, never (in modern usage) the injuring party. The injuring party may be specified with "on," as in "to avenge X on his killer," but this is rather more common with "take/get revenge" and "revenge oneself" than with "avenge."



avenge (plural avenges)

  1. (archaic) An act of vengeance; a revenge.