top of page



How to pronounce vindictive (audio)


Monster Trucks in Space

Dictionary definition of vindictive

Seeking revenge or retaliation, often in a cruel or spiteful way.
"The vindictive tone of the email made it clear that the sender was seeking revenge."


Detailed meaning of vindictive

It implies a desire to harm or punish someone, usually in response to a perceived wrong or injury. It can also imply a tendency to hold grudges or to seek revenge for even minor slights. For example, a vindictive ex-partner may try to harm or sabotage their former partner's reputation or relationships. A vindictive person may hold grudges and seek to harm others even after the perceived wrongs have been resolved. The word can also describe actions or attitudes that are characterized by a desire for revenge or retaliation. It implies a sense of malice, spite, and a desire for revenge, and can have negative connotations.

Example sentences containing vindictive

1. The vindictive glare in his eyes made me shudder.
2. She couldn't shake off the feeling of his vindictive presence.
3. My cat gets vindictive if I'm late with her dinner.
4. You could sense a vindictive aura around the old, haunted house.
5. His vindictive behaviour has cost him many friends.
6. I decided to stay clear of the vindictive debate.

History and etymology of vindictive

The adjective 'vindictive' traces its origins to the Latin word 'vindicta,' which referred to the concept of revenge or retribution. In ancient Rome, 'vindicta' was also used to describe a rod or staff used in the symbolic act of freeing a slave, illustrating the link between retribution and the idea of liberation. Over time, this Latin root evolved into 'vindictivus' in Latin, carrying the sense of seeking revenge. As it passed through the filter of Old French and Middle English, it ultimately became 'vindictive' in English, describing a strong desire for revenge, often accompanied by cruelty or spitefulness. This evolution of the word reflects humanity's complex relationship with notions of retribution and the desire to settle scores.

Quiz: Find the meaning of vindictive

Try Again!


Further usage examples of vindictive

1. He held a vindictive grudge against his old employer.
2. His vindictive remarks during the argument were absolutely uncalled for.
3. The vindictive wind seemed to intensify every time we turned a corner.
4. Sarah’s vindictive nature had cost her relationships in the past.
5. The vindictive sea thrashed against the rocks relentlessly.
6. It was a vindictive desire that drove him to spread those rumours.
7. Her vindictive comments struck a nerve with many people in the room.
8. The vindictive spirit of the competitor showed in his unfair tactics.
9. He was known to be vindictive, making him a feared adversary.
10. Her vindictive laughter sent chills down my spine.
11. The vindictive tone in her letter was unmistakable.
12. His vindictive streak was something he struggled to control.
13. Their vindictive pursuit of justice had blinded them to reason.
14. Avoiding vindictive tendencies will lead to better relationships.



spiteful, forgiving, merciful, benevolent


Behavior and Conduct, Conflict and Disagreement, Damage and Destruction, Anger and Hatred

bottom of page