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[vin-dik-tiv] /vɪnˈdɪk tɪv/
disposed or inclined to revenge; vengeful:
a vindictive person.
proceeding from or showing a revengeful spirit:
vindictive rumors.
Origin of vindictive
1610-20; < Latin vindict(a) vengeance + -ive
Related forms
vindictively, adverb
vindictiveness, noun
unvindictive, adjective
unvindictively, adverb
unvindictiveness, noun
Can be confused
vindicatory, vindictive.
1. unforgiving. See spiteful.
1. forgiving. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for vindictive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I judge him as I found him--a hard hearted, tyrannical, vindictive father.

    With Wolfe in Canada G. A. Henty
  • But that man Granger must have been a vindictive brute to carry it so far.

    Mixed Faces Roy Norton
  • The man who carried off Mademoiselle Pointdexter must be a bold fellow, and is likely to be a vindictive one.

    In the Irish Brigade G. A. Henty
  • Now it was some impulse of vindictive passion, now of benevolence.

    Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume II. Charles James Lever
  • He knew that Nat was a favorite, in school and out, with all who knew him, and so he was envious and vindictive.

    The Bobbin Boy William M. Thayer
British Dictionary definitions for vindictive


disposed to seek vengeance
characterized by spite or rancour
(English law) (of damages) in excess of the compensation due to the plaintiff and imposed in punishment of the defendant
Derived Forms
vindictively, adverb
vindictiveness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin vindicta revenge, from vindicāre to 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
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Word Origin and History for vindictive

1610s, from Latin vindicta "revenge" (see vindication). Related: Vindictively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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