Definition of revenge in English:

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Pronunciation: /rəˈvenj/


1The action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands: other spurned wives have taken public revenge on their husbands
More example sentences
  • So, in revenge for the killing of four American mercenaries, a city was seized, bombed, and a massacre of hundreds of civilians took place.
  • They told the judge that they killed Qmeil in revenge for the killings of six members of their clan a decade ago.
  • Detectives will investigate whether the killing was in revenge for an assault allegedly carried out by Mr Curran on a young teenage girl on the northside.
vengeance, retribution, retaliation, reprisal, requital, recrimination, an eye for an eye (and a tooth for a tooth), redress, satisfaction
1.1The desire to inflict retribution: it was difficult not to be overwhelmed with feelings of hate and revenge
More example sentences
  • Try and think of a commercial of any sort that isn't based on greed, envy, fear, hatred, revenge, thrusting ambition, or sheer lust.
  • Whether through an act of revenge or a genuine desire to check on the inner workings of the organisation, he has requested to see the financial records of the PGA Tour.
  • No matter how hard you try to avoid collusion with the beast, eventually, you come to realize there's no way out of the cycle of revenge and desire.
vengefulness, vindictiveness, vitriol, spite, spitefulness, malice, maliciousness, malevolence, ill will, animosity, hate, hatred, rancor, bitterness
literary maleficence
1.2(In sports) the defeat of a person or team by whom one was beaten in a previous encounter: the Yankees wanted to get their revenge for losing to the Dodgers in the 1955 Series
More example sentences
  • Bucks were outplayed by Silver Stars who took revenge for a previous defeat.
  • For Eriksson there is some hope of sporting revenge over the man whose Brazil side won the 2002 World Cup quarter-final meeting.
  • This should be a cracking encounter with Enniscrone seeking revenge for last year's defeat by Calry in the quarter final of the competition.


[with object] chiefly literary
1Inflict hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong done to (someone else): it’s a pity he chose that way to revenge his sister
More example sentences
  • You lived to revenge your father against Seth, who betrayed and slew him.
  • And when I do eventually get the chance to revenge Jenny, I'm not going to hide behind a gun.
  • Stand in as pretend boyfriend when necessary - that includes revenging me to large scary looking men on dark nights.
1.1Inflict hurt or harm on someone for (an injury or wrong done to oneself or another): her brother was slain, and she revenged his death
More example sentences
  • He is the wildly popular or beloved hero who revenges wrongs against the nation.
  • As they are about to take their leave, Don Quijote offers thanks to the innkeeper and offers to revenge any wrongs ever done to him.
  • The leaders of the rival gang are looking over their shoulders for the Westies, who have yet to revenge the murder of Bernard Sugg, brother of Stephen, last August.
avenge, take/exact revenge for, exact retribution for, take reprisals for, get redress for, get satisfaction for
1.2 (revenge oneself or be revenged) Inflict hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong done to oneself: I’ll be revenged on the whole pack of you
More example sentences
  • But then, given their penchant for revenging themselves on their enemies by holding them down and nailing their knees to the floor, perhaps no-one wanted to give offence by bestowing on them the wrong sort of nickname.
  • This is what traps them in their cage: None of them thinks about running away or revenging themselves upon the ‘normal’ members of society.
  • Yes, it will follow, and may the wrongs which Irishmen have suffered be revenged both soon and sudden.


revenge is a dish best served (or eaten) cold

proverb Vengeance is often more satisfying if it is not exacted immediately.
Example sentences
  • If revenge is a dish best served cold, it was only appropriate that Arsenal's first goal came from Vieira.
  • You know, He-Man, they say revenge is a dish best served cold, but I would much rather serve it hot.
  • If C. Montgomery Burns is right and revenge is a dish best served cold, this may be one of Jenkins' most delicious years ever.



( literary)
Example sentences
  • What Hieronimo and Bellimperia, the revengers, need is a way to get close to the murderers, while holding weapons.
  • Berry's a mystically empowered revenger who brings down an evil cosmetics company that has a sinister secret behind its new anti-aging products.
  • The original Pan is shown in a chilling Saki story as a murderous revenger against female bossiness and practicality.


Late Middle English: from Old French revencher, from late Latin revindicare, from re- (expressing intensive force) + vindicare 'claim, avenge'.

  • ‘Revenge’, said the 17th-century courtier and scholar Francis Bacon, ‘is a kind of wild justice.’ The idea that wrongs can be most successfully avenged by someone who has taken the time to plan their response is formulated in the proverb first recorded in the late 19th century, revenge is a dish best eaten cold. The word is from Old French revencher, which was from Latin vindicare ‘to claim, avenge’—the root of vindicate (early 17th century) and avenge (Late Middle English).

Words that rhyme with revenge

avenge, henge, Stonehenge

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: re·venge

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