from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To inflict punishment in return for (injury or insult).
  • transitive verb Archaic To seek or take vengeance for (oneself or another person); avenge.
  • noun The act of taking vengeance for injuries or wrongs; retaliation.
  • noun A desire for revenge; spite or vindictiveness.
  • noun An opportunity to retaliate, as by a return sports match after a defeat.
  • noun Something done in retaliation, especially a defeat of a rival who has been victorious.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of revenging; the execution of vengeance; retaliation for wrongs real or fancied; hence, the gratification of vindictive feeling.
  • noun That which is done by way of vengeance; a revengeful or vindictive act; a retaliatory measure; a means of revenging one's self.
  • noun The desire to be revenged; the emotion which is aroused by an injury or affront, and which leads to retaliation; vindictiveness of mind.
  • noun Synonyms Revenge, Vengeance, Retribution, Retaliation, and Reprisal agree in expressing the visiting of evil upon others in return for their misdeeds. Revenge is the carrying out of a bitter desire to injure an enemy for a wrong done to one's self or to those who seem a part of one's self, and is a purely personal feeling. It generally has reference to one's equals or superiors, and the malignant feeling is all the more bitter when it cannot be gratified. Vengeance has an earlier and a later use. In its earlier use it may arise from no personal feeling, but may be visited upon a person for another's wrong as well as for his own. In the Scripture it means retribution with indignation. as in Rom. xii. 19: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord,” where it is a reservation for Jehovah of the offices of distributive and retributive justice. In its later use it involves the idea of wrathful retribution, whether just, unjust, or excessive; it is often a furious revenge: hence there is a general tendency to turn to other words to express just retribution, especially as an act of God. Retribution bears more in mind the amount of the wrong done, viewing it as a sort of loan whose equivalent is in some way paid back. Any evil result befalling the perpetrator of a bad deed in consequence of that deed is said to be a retribution, whether occurring by human intention or not; personal agency is not prominent in the idea of retribution. Retaliation combines the notion of equivalent return, which is found in retribution, with a distinctly personal agency and intention; sometimes, unlike the preceding words, it has a light sense for good humored teasing or banter. Reprisal is an act of retaliation in war, its essential point being the capture of something in return or as indemnification for pecuniary damage from the other side. The word has also a looser figurative meaning, amounting essentially to retaliation of any sort. See avenge, requital, and the definition of retorsion.
  • To take vengeance on account of; inflict punishment because of; exact retribution for; obtain or seek to obtain satisfaction for, especially with the idea of gratifying a sense of injury or vindictiveness: as, to revenge an insult.
  • To satisfy by taking vengeance; secure atonement or expiation to, as for an injury; avenge the real or fancied wrongs of; especially, to gratify the vindictive spirit of: as, to revenge one's self for rude treatment.
  • Synonyms Avenge, Revenge. See avenge.
  • To take vengeance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The act of revenging; vengeance; retaliation; a returning of evil for evil.
  • noun The disposition to revenge; a malignant wishing of evil to one who has done us an injury.
  • transitive verb To inflict harm in return for, as an injury, insult, etc.; to exact satisfaction for, under a sense of injury; to avenge; -- followed either by the wrong received, or by the person or thing wronged, as the object, or by the reciprocal pronoun as direct object, and a preposition before the wrong done or the wrongdoer.
  • transitive verb To inflict injury for, in a spiteful, wrong, or malignant spirit; to wreak vengeance for maliciously.
  • intransitive verb obsolete, obsolete To take vengeance; -- with.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any form of personal retaliatory action against an individual, institution, or group for some perceived harm or injustice.
  • verb reflexive To take one's revenge (on or upon) someone.
  • verb transitive To take revenge for (a particular harmful action), to avenge.
  • verb intransitive To take vengeance.

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

  • verb take revenge for a perceived wrong
  • noun action taken in return for an injury or offense


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

[Middle English revengen, from Old French revengier : re-, re- + vengier, to take revenge (from Latin vindicāre, to avenge, from vindex, vindic-, avenger; see deik- in Indo-European roots).]



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  • There is no heauen but reuenge. I tell thee, I would not haue vndertooke so much toyle to gaine heauen, as I haue done in pursuing thee for reuenge. Diuine reuenge, of which (as of the ioyes aboue) there is no fulnes or satietie. Looke how my feete are blistered with following thee from place to place. I haue riuen my throat with ouerstraining it to curse thee. I haue grownd my teeth to pouder with grating and grinding them together for anger, when anie hath nam'd thee. My tongue with vaine threates is bolne, and waxen too big for my mouth. My eies haue broken their strings with staring and looking ghastly, as I stood deuising how to frame or set my countenance when I met thee. I haue nere spent my strength in imaginarie acting on stone wals, what I determined to execute on thee. Entreate not, a miracle maye not repriue thee: villaine, thus march I with my blade into thy bowels.

    - Thomas Nashe, The Unfortunate Traveller, 1594

    April 14, 2010

  • What's satietie?

    April 14, 2010

  • = satiety - love that wacky Elizabethan spelling.

    April 14, 2010

  • I'm stumped on bolne - any ideas?

    April 14, 2010

  • Bourne? Or to swell?


    I'm not sure either.

    April 14, 2010

  • Emboldened fits the context.

    April 14, 2010

  • OED has:

    obs'bollen, ppl. a.

    Also 4–5 bollun, 5 bolle; and 6 boln(e, boalne, bowlne. pa. pple. of bell v.1 Obs. to swell; cf. bolghen. In the 16th c. there was a monosyllabic variant boln, etc. (see b); also in Sc. a form bolden, mod. bowden, with d generated between l and n.

    Swollen; inflated, puffed up.

    b) boln, bolne, boalne, bowlne. Cf. swoln.

    1509 Hawes Past. Pleas. 135 His breste fatte, and bolne in the wast. a1547 Surrey Æneid ii. 346 Whose feet were bowln With the strait cords. 1566 J. Studley Seneca's Medea (1581) 133 His body boalne big, wrapt in lumpes. 1598 Sylvester Du Bartas ii. iv. iii. (1641) 225/1 With foaming fury swoln, With boystrous beasts of angry tempests boln. 1609 Holland Amm. Marcel. xxviii. ix. 341 With a big and bolne necke of his owne.

    April 14, 2010

  • So literally it's like "belled". But bilby, note the Scots form bolden.

    April 14, 2010