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From Latin vindicta (vengeance), from vindico (claim, vindicate), from vindex (defender), +‎ -ive.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /vɪnˈdɪk.tɪv/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪktɪv


vindictive (comparative more vindictive, superlative most vindictive)

  1. Having a tendency to seek revenge when wronged, vengeful.
    • 1834, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], Francesca Carrara. [], volume III, London: Richard Bentley, [], (successor to Henry Colburn), OCLC 630079698, page 326:
      Lord Avonleigh was an angry rather than a vindictive man. Vindictiveness requires more energy of character than he possessed. Indeed, it may be questioned whether he would of himself have taken the violent measures of the preceding evening.
    • 1920, D. H. Lawrence, chapter 18, in Women in Love[1]:
      The vindictive mockery in her voice made his brain quiver.
    • 1933, H. G. Wells, The Shape of Things to Come[2]:
      The victors will exact vindictive penalties and the losers of course will undertake to pay, but none of them realizes that money is going to do the most extraordinary things to them when they begin upon that.
  2. (obsolete) punitive


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