Should we say “Revenge” or “Avenge”? Are these the Same?

revenge vs avenge

Getting stuck in a situation where two similar words are confusing is something most people do not want to find themselves. You are probably thinking, should we say “revenge” or “avenge”? Are these the same?

We use the word “revenge” for situations describing personal hurt, e.g., the best way to “revenge” is by ignoring her and moving on. “Avenge” is used when the situation is about a third party hurt, e.g., the boy “avenged” his brother’s death by murdering his killer.

There is a lot of difference between these words, and there are variations in their usage in a sentence. You have nothing to worry about. We will explain all the similarities, differences, and usage in this article.

revenge sign in the middle of a girls head

When To and How to Properly Use “Revenge”

We will talk about when and how to use the word “revenge” in a sentence. However, it is imperative to know and understand the meaning, origin, and nature of the word. The accurate usage of the word in a sentence hinges on knowledge of the meaning and nature.

So, what is the origin of and meaning of the word “revenge”?

The word “revenge” comes from the Old French word “revengier,” which is now “revancher” in modern French. 

“Revenge” means to take vengeance, inflict punishment, secure atonement, and exact retribution on someone due to something wrong they have done. 

There are many words with dual functions, meaning they can function as a noun and a verb, or a noun and an adjective, and conjunction and a preposition amongst others.

When it comes to using the word “revenge,” it can perform dual functions in a sentence. “Revenge” portrays both an action to be taken and the action taken. First, it can function as a noun and also as a verb in a sentence. Though, we use it more often as a noun than a verb.

The word “revenge,” functioning as a noun, describes the type of retaliatory action against a person or group for perceived harm, wrongdoing, or injuries caused. It refers to the specific action melted out to the other person. The synonyms of “revenge” as a noun includes vengeance, retaliation, retribution, and reprisal. Some of the antonyms of the word “Revenge” as a noun include mercy, leniency, compassion, clemency, pardon, remission, forgiveness, sympathy, and grace.

So, when you want to refer to the form of retaliatory action carried out by a person in a sentence, you use the word “Revenge” as a noun. Below are some examples explaining the use of the word.

  1. The only way he can have his revenge on his cheating girlfriend is by cheating on her.
  2. He was advised not to use his anger as fuel for revenge after being set up by his colleagues at work.
  3. Napoleon took his revenge on Snowball by letting loose his guard dogs to attack him after he embarrassed him in front of the crowd.
  4. The Chinese seek to have revenge on the Japanese for the inhumane treatment they melted out on them during their colonization.
  5. He dislikes Joan because she mocked him after his results were released, he plans revenge by putting some tac pins on her desk during recess.
  6. Unfortunately, lots of people allow their feelings of revenge to bring out the worst of them.
  7. The sweetest way to have your revenge is by becoming a better person than what they hope you will become.

On the other hand, the word “revenge” can also function as a verb in a sentence. In a case like this, it is to exact “revenge” on a person or a group for an alleged harmful action done. The synonyms of “revenge” functioning as a verb includes: avenge, requite, and recriminate. Some of the antonyms of the word “revenge” as a verb include: condone, excuse, forgive, remit, absolve

So you use the word to describe the act of carrying out “revenge” on a person. Here are some examples that show the use of the word in a sentence.

  1. She used her influence and power to moderate violence and revenge measures when she was in control of the government.
  2. Barcelona Football Club’s will revenge their loss to Bayern Munich by playing aggressively in the second leg of their match.
  3. Felix wanted to revenge himself on John for his arrogance and disrespect towards their course advisor.
  4. He received an order from his mentor to return home when the time was right and take revenge on his brother’s death.
  5. All they could hear as the jokes of their enemies as they watched them take their revenge.
  6. The last thing we should try to do is take revenge on people as it is exhausting and creates more scandals rather than peace.
  7. It is easier to forgive and move on than take revenge out on a person who has offended you, as you might end up making an awful decision.

avenge in the dictionary under magnifying glass

When To And How To Properly Use “Avenge”

Now that we have established the proper usage of the word “revenge,” we will dive into when and how to properly use the word “avenge” in sentences. As expected, we will take a look at the meaning, origin, and nature of the word “avenge.” It is easier to understand the proper usage of the word when you understand this.

So, what is the origin of and meaning of the word “Revenge”?

The word “avenge” originates from the Middle English word “avengen,” which we got from the Old French “avengier.” 

“Avenge” means taking out vengeance for, vindicating a person by exacting pain or punishment on him for the wrong or evil done. It is essential to know that the word “avenge” is used only when an action is taken on a wrong-doer due to the wrong done to a third-party. The word “avenge” is used only when someone takes action because a third-party has been hurt or wronged by another person.

Some of the synonyms of the word “avenge” include redress, requite, penalize, chastise, castigate, discipline, recompense, and repay. While the antonyms include absolving, comfort, excuse, forgive, pardon, remit, and condone.

As opposed to the word “revenge” with dual functionality, “avenge” is a verb. So, it functions only as an action word in any sentence used. The word “avenge” portrays an action taken, the reason we use it as a verb in a sentence. Now, here are some illustrative examples that detail the use of this word.

  1. The Russian army avenged the death of their soldiers by planting landmines around the territory of their enemies.
  2. The community’s youths swore to avenge their fallen comrades’ lives by laying waste to the opposing community’s town.
  3. He avenged his brother’s death by making sure his killer was charged to court and punished.
  4. The justice system’s main job is to avenge people treated poorly, unjustly, and unlawfully by others in power positions.
  5. The police constable vowed she would not stop until she has avenged the victim by bringing the killer to book.
  6. The opposing party threatened to overthrow him, but his sheer determination to avenge the people was more potent than his fear of them.
  7. He embarked on a journey to the ends of the earth seeking wisdom and guidance from different people to be empowered to avenge his father’s death.

Understanding the Difference Between Both Words

So far, we have explained when to and how to use them in a sentence properly, we have also explained their meaning, origin, synonyms, and antonyms. This way, it is easier to know the right word to convey the message you want to pass out. 

However, there is something you must take note of when using the words “revenge” and “avenge.” “Avenge” has a lot to do with getting justice or retribution for a wrong committed but, “revenge” is all about getting personal retaliation. “Avenge” is about a perceived wrong; it has to do with morality and a sense of right or wrong, while “revenge” is usually about something petty without regard for morality, justice, or honor. 

While “avenge” is to make retribution on behalf of another person, “revenge” is to make retribution for oneself. It is essential to keep this difference in mind when deciding on the perfect choice of words in a sentence.

gloves on and ready for payback

Final Thoughts

Though the two words look similar in spelling, which might bring some confusion, we have clarified it to make it understandable. Both words have a slightly similar meaning and usage, no doubt, you cannot use them interchangeably. 

With the understanding of each word’s nature, you can differentiate the words when you want to use them in a sentence.

We have explained the origin, the meanings, the usage, the synonyms, and antonyms of both words, respectively. So you have the idea of which word you will use accurately in a sentence. All you have to do is read up and get the knowledge.

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.

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