Revenge, Avenge, Retaliate, Vindicate- How to use them in sentence

 Words revenge, avenge, retaliate, and vindicate are used as synonyms. But they are not actually synonyms. In this post we know the difference between these words. And we also learn how to memorize these words easily.

Quick Look

Revenge means to harm somebody in such a way that if somebody damages your eye, then you also want to damage his or her eye. In sum, an eye for an eye. 
Avenge means to punish someone because he or she harms your loved one.
  • The brother avenged the death of his sister.
Retaliate means to harm someone with calculating risk.
Vindicate means to make oneself clear or justify one's idea, opinion, decision after getting allegation.

    revenge, avenge, retaliate, vindicate

    What is the meaning of Revenge?

    Revenge is a noun and a verb. It means to hurts someone in return. You revenge yourself on someone who has hurt you, you hurt them in the same way in return.
    • America dropped bombs in revenge for killing American soldiers.
    • The son vowed to take his revenge on his father's enemies.

    What is the meaning of Avenge?

    Avenge is a verb. It means to take vengeance for or on behalf of oneself or another. If you avenge a wrong or harmful act, you hurt or punish the person who is responsible for it.
    • The mother promised to avenge herself on the man who had betrayed her daughter.
    • The team is out to avenge last week's defeat.

    What is the meaning of Retaliate?

    Retaliate means to counter-attack, take revenge.
    • Iran vows to retaliate over the killing of its top military.

    What is the meaning of Vindicate?

    Vindicate is a verb. It means to free from any question of error, guilt, or any allegations. 
    To vindicate something means to prove that something is true or that you were right to do something, especially when other people had a different opinion.
    • The politicians were vindicated on all counts.
    • The new discoveries will vindicate his theory.

    What is the difference between these words and when to use them?

    Revenge is used when someone hurts you, and you also hurt him /her in return.

    Avenge is used when you hurt someone who hurts your family or friends.

    Retaliate is used when you want to teach a lesson to someone who has done something bad to you.

    Vindicate is used to prove that something is true or that you were right to do something especially when other people had different opinion.
    If you prove yourself right, you vindicate yourself.

    Revenge is very personal. It suggests hate, violence, hostility, grudges, or the like. In revenge, one demands and eye for an eye, something like tit for tat.
    If one's son dies in a car accident, then one's father demands son for son. This act is the clear case of revenge.

    Avenge is not that personal like revenge. To avenge connotes bringing justice, and to prove that truth always triumphs over untruth. However, the definition of truth of untruth may be subjective.

    Retaliate is not that hard like revenge and avenge. It doesn't suggest any bitterness and animosity that avenge and revenge show. 
    One retaliates in self defense, and feel satisfied that a wrong paid back whereas one takes revenge or avenge in self-gratification and feel pride.
    Retaliate is mostly used in war time.You could say counter attack.

    What Oxford says:

    Avenge is a verb; revenge is (usually) a noun. People avenge something or avenge themselves on somebody: "She vowed to avenge her brother's death". "He later avenged himself on his wife's killers". 
    You take revenge on a person. In more formal or literary English, Revenge can also be a verb. People revenge themselves on somebody or are revenged on them (with the same meaning): "He was later revenged on his wife's killers". You cannot revenge something: She vowed to revenge her brother's death.

    Merriam says

    Avenge and revenge agree in meaning to punish a person who has wronged one or someone close to one. They are often used interchangeably but avenge more often suggests punishing a person when on is vindicating someone else than oneself or is serving the ends of justice, the suggestion of justice achieved being strong in any application of the word.  
    Revenge more often applies to vindication oneself and usually suggests an evening up score or a personal satisfaction more than achievement of justice, often connoting malice, spite, or vindictive retaliation.

    Important points

     Pattern of avenge:
    Avenge something
    Avenge yourself on somebody
    People avenge something or avenge themselves on somebody.

    Pattern of revenge:
    As a noun, 
    to get, have, take revenge on
    in revenge for (He did it in revenge for his mother's murder)
    As a verb, 
    to revenge yourself on somebody, or  be revenged on somebody

    Pattern of retaliate:
    retaliate against somebody or something
    retaliate by doing something/with something(retaliate by kicking him)

    How do you remember Revenge, Avenge, Retaliate, Vindicate?

    Vindicate means win against something or someone.
    Vindicate pronounced like win-dicate. With the help of its pronunciation, you can easily get its meaning-- to win.

    Revenge and avenge both origin from the same root "venier" Latin "vindicare" that means "to win", as we already know.
    Now, revenge from re + vindicare. Re is used for intensive prefix. The prefix re can also mean back.

    Avenge from "a" (ad) to + vindicare. To win against someone is avenge.

    Retaliate origins from Latin retaliat-'returned in kind', from the verb retaliare from re- 'back'+ talis 'such'.

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