with a vengeance

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Prepositional phrase[edit]

with a vengeance

  1. (idiomatic) With an intense motivation; in an extreme, intense, or violent manner.
    • 1651, Samuel Clarke, A General Martyrologie, Underhill (London), ch. 27 "The Original Progress and Practice of the Spanish Inquisition," p. 209:
      With which intolerable pains if the party shriek or cry out, they roar out as loud to him to confess the truth, or else he shall come down with a vengeance.
    • 1777, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The School for Scandal:
      Yes, egad, they are tenacious of reputation with a vengeance, for they don't choose anybody should have a character but themselves!
    • 1779, "Miscellaneous Essays: From Dr. Beattie's Essay on Music and Poetry," in Edmund Burke (ed.), The Annual Register, or a View of the History, Politics, and Literature for the Year 1778, Dodsley (London):
      It is said, that in the first representation of the Furies of Eschylus, the horror of the spectacle was so great, that several women miscarried; which was indeed pathos with a vengeance.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby Dick, ch. 16:
      They are fighting Quakers; they are Quakers with a vengeance.
    • 1966, Charles A. Berst, "Propaganda and Art in Mrs Warren's Profession," ELH, vol. 33 no. 3 (Sep), p. 404:
      From the first, she is the New Woman with a vengeance, loving nothing better than a chair, whisky, cigars and a detective story.




  • "with a vengeance" in the Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.