Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To inflict a punishment or penalty in return for; revenge: avenge a murder.
  • transitive v. To take vengeance on behalf of: avenged their wronged parents.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A vengeance; a revenge.
  • v. To take vengeance (for); to exact satisfaction for by punishing the injuring party; to vindicate by inflicting pain or evil on a wrongdoer.
  • v. To treat revengefully; to wreak vengeance on.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Vengeance; revenge.
  • intransitive v. To take vengeance.
  • transitive v. To take vengeance for; to exact satisfaction for by punishing the injuring party; to vindicate by inflicting pain or evil on a wrongdoer.
  • transitive v. To treat revengefully; to wreak vengeance on.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To vindicate by inflicting pain or evil on the wrong-doer; execute justice or vengeance on behalf of: with a person as object.
  • To take satisfaction for, by pain or punishment inflicted on the injuring party; deal punishment on account of: with a thing as object.
  • To take revenge on; treat or deal with revengefully.
  • Synonyms Avenge, Revenge. Until lately these words were used with little or no difference of meaning (see quotations under each). Avenge is now restricted to the taking of just punishment or the vindication of justice, and revenge to the infliction of pain or evil to gratify resentful feelings, or the desire of retaliation for some real or fancied wrong. Poetic use sometimes returns to the earlier freedom in the meaning of avenge. see revenge, n.
  • To execute vengeance; inflict retaliatory pain or injury on a wrong-doer.
  • n. Revenge; retaliation.
  • n. Punishment; vengeance taken.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. take revenge for a perceived wrong

Etymologies

Middle English avengen, from Old French avengier : a-, to (from Latin ad-; see ad-) + vengier, to vindicate (from Latin vindicāre, to claim; see vindicate).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French avengier, from a- ("upon") + vengier, from Latin vindicare. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The Lord uses words without anxiety as to the misuse of them by such as do not search after his will in them; and the word avenge may be simply retained from the parable without its special meaning therein; yet it suggests a remark or two.

    Unspoken Sermons Second Series

  • LUI: You know, Chris, the statement you were bringing up in your report, the official using the word "avenge" -- we don't commonly see that in a statement coming from a government agency or from an official.

    CNN Transcript Jan 1, 2010

  • “Only a burning desire to clear my name and avenge my mentor.”

    The Brush Off

  • The Taliban has claimed responsibility for some of the attacks, saying they were carried out to "avenge" the NATO airstrike and CIA drone missiles in Pakistan's lawless tribal region.

    Pakistan reopens border to NATO supply trucks

  • Public anger is simmering over the air incursions and an dramatic escalation of CIA drone strikes against militants in Pakistan's tribal areas, and a Taliban spokesman vowed that it would "avenge" those attacks with more strikes on "foreign forces" in Pakistan, Reuters reported.

    Militants set NATO fuel tankers ablaze in Pakistan, killing 3 as key border pass remains closed

  • ` ` It's the first time out this year, trying to kind of avenge a loss at the Fiesta Bowl last year, so there was a lot of preparation put in to come out and play well, '' said Bradford, referring to a 48-28 loss to West Virginia this January.

    USATODAY.com

  • But after he divulges that his father basically killed himself over cooking, and Clay says that he's here to kind of avenge that death, I decide the producers would never show that clip to the viewers and then make him pack his knives.

    Jane McGivney: Top Chef: The Cored Apple of Doom

  • Naxalite Maoist India: India scours forests to 'avenge' Maoist killings

    India scours forests to 'avenge' Maoist killings

  • Another thing, which bothers me, if no one else, is that US Marines will die to "avenge" them.

    Archive 2004-04-01

  • He called on the people to "avenge" Mr Sekete's death by means of a "clean-up operation".

    ANC Daily News Briefing

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Comments

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  • I like awengid better, sounds less like a car engine.

    April 21, 2008

  • c1375 WYCLIF Antecrist 126 Crist was suffryng & foryghaue, & thei wolen be awengid

    April 21, 2008