1. Desiring vengeance; vindictive: epidemics seen as acts of a vengeful God.
2. Characterized by or stemming from a desire for revenge: a vengeful attack by a spurned lover; vengeful anger.
3. Serving to exact vengeance: a vengeful sword.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.