KJV Dictionary Definition: revenge


REVENGE, v.t. revenj'. L. vindex, vindico. See Vindicate.

1. To inflict pain or injury in return for an injury received.

Note. this word and avenge were formerly used as synonymous, and it is so used in the common version of the Scripture, and applied to the Supreme Being. "O Lord - revenge me of my persecutors." Jer. 15. In consequence of a distinction between avenge and revenge which modern usage has introduced, the application of this word to the Supreme Being appears extremely harsh, irreverent and offensive. Revenge is now used in an ill sense, for the infliction of pain maliciously or illegally; avenge for inflicting just punishment.

2. According to modern usage, to inflict pain deliberately and maliciously, contrary to the laws of justice and humanity, in return for injury, pain or evil received; to wreak vengeance spitefully on one who injures or offends. We say, to revenge an injury or insult, or with the reciprocal pronoun, to revenge ourselves on an enemy or for an injury, that is, to take vengeance or satisfaction.

3. To vindicate by punishment of an enemy.

The gods are just and will revenge our cause.

According to modern usage, avenge should here be substituted for revenge.

REVENGE, n. revenj'.

1. Return of an injury; the deliberate infliction of pain or injury or a person in return for an injury received from him.

2. According to modern usage, a malicious or spiteful infliction of pain or injury, contrary to the laws of justice and christianity, in return for an injury or offense. Revenge is dictated by passion; vengeance by justice.

3. The passion which is excited by an injury done or an affront given; the desire of inflicting pain on one who has done an injury; as, to glut revenge.

Revenge, as the word is now understood, is always contrary to the precepts of Christ.

The indulgence of revenge tends to make men more savage and cruel.


REVENG'ED, pp. Punished in return for an injury; spitefully punished. The injury is revenged.


REVENGEFUL, a. revenj'ful.

1. full of revenge or a desire to inflict pain or evil for injury received; spiteful; malicious; wreaking revenge.

If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive.

2. Vindictive; inflicting punishment.

May my hands never brandish more revengeful steel.


REVENGEFULNESS, n. revenj'fulness. Vincidtiveness.


REVENGEMENT, n. revenj'ment. Revenge; return of an injury. Little used.



1. One who revenges; one who inflicts pain on another spitefully in return for an injury.

2. One who inflicts just punishment for injuries. Less proper.



1. Inflicting pain or evil spitefully for injury or affront received.

2. Vindicating; punishing.


REVENG'INGLY, adv. With revenge; with the spirit of revenge; vindictively.