To avenge is to inflict punishment upon evil doers in behalf of ourselves, or others for whom we act; as, to avenge one's wrongs; to avenge the injuries of the suffering and innocent. It is to inflict pain for the sake of vindication, or retributive justice. To revenge is to inflict pain or injury for the indulgence of resentful and malicious feelings. The former may at times be a duty; the latter is one of the worst exhibitions of human character.
Origin: OF. Avengier; L. Ad + vindicare to lay claim to, to avenge, revenge. See Vengeance.
(01 Mar 1998)
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