Why was clemency trending last week?


[uh-venj] /əˈvɛndʒ/
verb (used with object), avenged, avenging.
to take vengeance or exact satisfaction for:
to avenge a grave insult.
to take vengeance on behalf of:
He avenged his brother.
Origin of avenge
1325-75; Middle English avengen < Old French avengier, equivalent to a- a-5 + vengier < Latin vindicāre; see vindicate
Related forms
avengeful, adjective
avenger, noun
avengingly, adverb
unavenged, adjective
unavenging, adjective
unavengingly, adverb
vindicate. Avenge, revenge both imply to inflict pain or harm in return for pain or harm inflicted on oneself or those persons or causes to which one feels loyalty. The two words were formerly interchangeable, but have been differentiated until they now convey widely diverse ideas. Avenge is now restricted to inflicting punishment as an act of retributive justice or as a vindication of propriety: to avenge a murder by bringing the criminal to trial. Revenge implies inflicting pain or harm to retaliate for real or fancied wrongs; a reflexive pronoun is often used with this verb: Iago wished to revenge himself upon Othello.
1. forgive. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for avenge
  • She promises not to avenge the coup or to rush into pardoning and bringing home her brother.
  • Both swore to avenge the dead and resuscitate the living.
  • It is not handled by some self-appointed vigilante who take it upon himself to avenge any affront to another.
  • She vows to avenge him, which drives the plot in the rest of the books.
  • The public in general has no way to punish or avenge that crime, but the law enforcement system does.
  • There are times when it is not inappropriate or even immoral to use overwhelming power merely to terrify and avenge.
  • To avenge their loss, the natives had murdered all of those connected with the venture.
  • Steve sets off after the shark, to avenge the ingestion of his friend.
  • It is better to avenge a friend than to mourn for him.
  • And still avenge each wrong, to friends or kindred done.
British Dictionary definitions for avenge


(usually transitive) to inflict a punishment in retaliation for (harm, injury, etc) done to (a person or persons); take revenge for or on behalf of: to avenge a crime, to avenge a murdered friend
Derived Forms
avenger, noun
Usage note
The use of avenge with a reflexive pronoun was formerly considered incorrect, but is now acceptable: she avenged herself on the man who killed her daughter
Word Origin
C14: from Old French avengier, from vengier, from Latin vindicāre; see vengeance, vindicate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for avenge

late 14c., from Anglo-French avenger, Old French avengier, from a- "to" (see ad-) + vengier "take revenge" (Modern French venger), from Latin vindicare "to claim, avenge, punish" (see vindicate). Related: Avenged; avenging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for avenge

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for avenge

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with avenge

Nearby words for avenge