Definition of vigilante in English:


Syllabification: vig·i·lan·te
Pronunciation: /ˌvijəˈlan(t)ē


A member of a self-appointed group of citizens who undertake law enforcement in their community without legal authority, typically because the legal agencies are thought to be inadequate.
More example sentences
  • A community of spam vigilantes constantly is improving free programs such as SpamAssassin.
  • Health authorities or even vigilantes ought to have shut it down years ago.
  • The thugs, vigilantes and enforcers have to end their activities - and be seen to do so.


mid 19th century: from Spanish, literally 'vigilant'.



Pronunciation: /-ˌtizəm/
More example sentences
  • Your articles were not about crime, security threats, handgun safety, drive-by shootings or vigilantism, all of which came to mind when I looked at your disturbing cover image.
  • In no way do we want people interpreting this as supporting vigilantism, but we do want the public to shun dealers.
  • But in terms of vigilantism, where somebody goes out and takes the law into their hands beyond just reporting false information to law enforcement, we haven't seen that.

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