(initial capital letter) a member of a Germanic people who in the 5th century a.d. ravaged Gaul and Spain, settled in Africa, and in a.d. 455 sacked Rome.
a person who willfully or ignorantly destroys or mars something beautiful or valuable.
(initial capital letter) of or pertaining to the Vandals.
imbued with or characterized by vandalism.

1545–55; < Late Latin Vandalus, Latinized tribal name Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
vandal (ˈvændəl)
a.  a person who deliberately causes damage or destruction to personal or public property
 b.  (as modifier): vandal instincts
[C17: from Vandal, from Latin Vandallus, of Germanic origin]

Vandal (ˈvændəl)
a member of a Germanic people that raided Roman provinces in the 3rd and 4th centuries ad before devastating Gaul (406--409), conquering Spain and N Africa, and sacking Rome (455): crushed by Belisarius at Carthage (533)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1660s, "willful destroyer of what is beautiful or venerable," from Vandals, name of Gmc. tribe that sacked Rome in 455 under Genseric, from L. Vandalus (pl. Vandali), from the tribe's name for itself (O.E. Wendlas), from P.Gmc. *Wandal- "Wanderer."
"There does not seem to be in the story of the capture of Rome by the Vandals any justification for the charge of willful and objectless destruction of public buildings which is implied in the word 'vandalism.' It is probable that this charge grew out of the fierce persecution which was carried on by [the Vandal king] Gaiseric and his son against the Catholic Christians, and which is the darkest stain on their characters." ["Encyclopedia Britannica," 13th ed., 1926]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The graffiti is drawn without the permission of the property owner and is used
  by the vandal as a means of gaining recognition.
Police detectives determined from a set of muddy footprints that the vandal had
  traveled along each pathway exactly once.
And sometimes a knife-wielding vandal decides that a precious rock-art panel is
  incomplete because it doesn't bear his initials.
Then there's the vandal who steals a register for personal gain.
Related Words
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