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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 perceived harm or injustice.
    Indifference is the sweetest revenge.
    When I left my wife, she tried to set fire to the house in revenge.
  2. (competition) A win by the 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 terms[edit]



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

  1. (reflexive) To take one's revenge on or upon someone.
    • Shakespeare
      Come, Antony, and young Octavius, come, / Revenge yourselves alone on Cassius.
  2. (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.
    • Ld. Berners
      to revenge the death of our fathers
    • John Dryden
      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.
  3. (intransitive, archaic) To take vengeance; to revenge itself.
    • Shakespeare
      a bird that will revenge upon you all


See also[edit]