Share this entry

Share this page

vigilante

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

Definition of vigilante in English:

noun

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.
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.

Origin

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

Derivatives

vigilantism

1
Pronunciation: /-ˌtizəm/
noun
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.

Words that rhyme with vigilante

Alicante, andante, ante, anti, Ashanti, Bramante, Chianti, Dante, dilettante, Fante, Ferranti, infante, scanty, shanty (US chanty), spumante, Zante

Definition of vigilante in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure