Main Difference – Avenge vs Revenge
Although avenge and revenge are not homophones, they are easily confused and misused by many English learners. These two words have similar sounds as they both end in ‘venge’, which is derived from Latin vindicare meaning ‘vindicate’. Therefore, both avenge and revenge are associated with the idea of vengeance and retribution. The main difference between avenge and revenge is that avenge means to inflict harm or punishment for an injury or a wrong whereas revenge refers to the act of harming or hurting someone in return for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands.
Avenge – Meaning and Usage
Avenge is a transitive verb. Avenge means to take revenge for or on behalf of someone. This means to harm or punish someone in return for an injury or wrong done to you or someone you care for. Avenging someone means to seek vengeance for someone. You can understand the meaning of this word better by reading the following examples.
The sisters vowed to avenge the death of their family.
The family of the victim wanted to avenge his death.
I will avenge those who betrayed us.
He was avenged when the murderer was sentenced to death.
If you look at these examples carefully, you’ll note that avenge is mostly used to talk about taking revenge for something done to someone else other than the speaker of the sentence.
Revenge – Meaning and Usage
Revenge is also associated with the idea of vengeance, retribution and retaliation. Revenge can be used as both as a noun and a verb. But it is mostly used as a noun. The verbal meaning of revenge is quite old and is nowadays mostly seen in literary texts. The noun revenge refers to the action of hurting or harming someone in return for an injury or wrong suffered at their hand.
They decided to kill his family as revenge for his action.
He promised his mother that he would take revenge from his father’s killers.
Jack was overwhelmed by feelings of hate and revenge.
As mentioned above, revenge is not very commonly used as a verb in contemporary English. As a verb, it has the same meaning as avenge. It is also important to note that in avenge is considered to be the verb of revenge in modern English.
Difference Between Avenge and Revenge
Avenge is a transitive verb.
Revenge is a noun and a verb.
Avenge is not used as a noun.
Revenge is mainly used as a noun.
Avenge means to take revenge.
Revenge is interchangeable with avenge as a verb.
Avenge means to inflict harm or punishment for an injury or a wrong.
Revenge refers to the action of inflicting harm or punishment for an injury or a wrong.
“THE NAVY NEEDS SHIPS TO AVENGE PEARL HARBOR” by Marion Doss (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr