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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Revenge


REVENGE, verb transitive revenj'. [Latin 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.' Jeremiah 15:15. 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, noun 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.