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[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.
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.
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Examples from the web for avenged
  • He lingered for three days, long enough to hear that he had been avenged.
  • And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies.
  • Their screams of resentment avenged must have been hideous to hear.
  • The street fight, with knives slashing and pistols blazing, became the way in which an insult could be avenged.
  • Furthermore, members of the group jointly avenged the deaths of others involved in the operation of the six drug points.
British Dictionary definitions for avenged


(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
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Word Origin and History for avenged



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
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