1. A feud between two families that arises from the injury or killing of the member of one family by a member of the other family, leading to long-lasting animosity and retaliatory acts of revenge.
2. A series of acts attacking or attempting to injure another: launched a vendetta against his harshest critics in the media.
[Italian, from Latin vindicta, revenge; see VINDICTIVE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 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.