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[venj-fuh l] /ˈvɛndʒ fəl/
desiring or seeking vengeance; vindictive:
a vengeful attitude.
characterized by or showing a vindictive spirit:
vengeful intentions.
serving to inflict vengeance:
a vengeful killing.
Origin of vengeful
1580-90; shortened form of revengeful
Related forms
vengefully, adverb
vengefulness, noun
unvengeful, adjective
1. revengeful, spiteful. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for vengefulness
Historical Examples
  • He would fire up to the limit, as if working off some of his vengefulness and malice.

  • I knew Phorenice's vengefulness, and had a high value for her cleverness.

    The Lost Continent C. J. Cutcliffe Hyne
  • Their vengefulness and their severe exactions caused them to lose the fruits of their victory.

    A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot
  • He hated Mead with all the vengefulness and fierceness of his race.

    With Hoops of Steel Florence Finch Kelly
  • A shudder shook Sally at thought of his vengefulness, his fierce strength.

    Coquette Frank Swinnerton
  • I say that it is just that—pride, vengefulness, hard misunderstanding!

    Foes Mary Johnston
  • Among the crowds tales more and more wonderful were related of the vengefulness of the Christian God.

    Quo Vadis Henryk Sienkiewicz
  • He restrained the ferocity of Nero and checked the ambition and vengefulness of Agrippina.

    A History of Roman Literature Harold North Fowler
British Dictionary definitions for vengefulness


desiring revenge; vindictive
characterized by or indicating a desire for revenge: a vengeful glance
inflicting or taking revenge: with vengeful blows
Derived Forms
vengefully, adverb
vengefulness, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for vengefulness



1580s, from obsolete venge "take revenge" + -ful. Related: Vengefully; vengefulness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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