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From Middle French revenge, a derivation from revenger, from Old French revengier (possibly influenced by Old Occitan revènge (revenge, comeback), from Old Occitan revenir (to come back)), a variant of Middle French revancher, from Old French revenchier. The variants Old French vengier (whence French venger) and Old French venchier are both descended from Latin vindicō, with stress-conditioned different parallel development in the inflectional forms. Compare avenge and vengeance.


  • IPA(key): /ɹɪˈvɛndʒ/
  • Hyphenation: re‧venge
  • (file)


revenge (usually uncountable, plural revenges)

  1. Any form of personal, retaliatory action against an individual, institution, or group for some alleged or perceived harm or injustice.
    Synonyms: payback, wreak; see also Thesaurus:revenge
    Indifference is the sweetest revenge.
    When I left my wife, she tried to set fire to the house in revenge.
  2. A win by a previous loser.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter I, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 731476803:
      “I'm through with all pawn-games,” I laughed. “Come, let us have a game of lansquenet. Either I will take a farewell fall out of you or you will have your sevenfold revenge”.

Derived termsEdit



revenge (third-person singular simple present revenges, present participle revenging, simple past and past participle revenged)

  1. (transitive) To take revenge for (a particular harmful action) or on behalf of (its victim); to avenge.
    Arsenal revenged its loss to Manchester United last time with a 5–0 drubbing this time.
    • 1814, Lord Berners, The Ancient Chronicles of Sir John Froissart
      to revenge the death of our fathers
    • 1697, “The First Book of the Æneis”, in Virgil; John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432:
      The gods are just, and will revenge our cause.
    • circa 1840, Leigh Hunt, The Seer; Or, Common-places Refreshed
      However, my veneration for that illustrious man was so great, that on the night when he died, I revenged him finely on his two principal enemies.
  2. (transitive, reflexive) To take one's revenge (on or upon someone).
  3. (intransitive, archaic) To take vengeance; to revenge itself.
    1814, Dante Alighieri, “Canto VII”, in H[enry] F[rancis] Cary, transl., The Vision; or, Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, of Dante Alighieri. [...] In Three Volumes, volume III (Paradise), London: Printed for Taylor and Hessey, [], OCLC 559008226, lines 45–47, page 30:
    Count it not hard henceforth, when thou dost hear / That a just vengeance was by righteous court / Justly reveng'd. [...]


See alsoEdit