Avenge or Revenge?

Our most common search themes:

What is the difference between avenge and revenge?

To avenge means to take vengeance on behalf of another.

To revenge means to gain satisfaction by carrying out a retributive action.

Avenge or Revenge?

Avenge and revenge have similar meanings, but there is a difference.


The verb to avenge means to seek retribution on behalf of somebody else. It contrasts with revenge which is about seeking retribution for yourself.

  • She vowed to avenge her brother's death.
  • (This means she is seeking retribution on behalf of her brother, not for herself.)
  • Follow me if I advance, kill me if I retreat, avenge me if I die. (Vietnamese battle cry)
  • (The narrator of this battle cry is asking his audience to seek retribution on his behalf, not for themselves.)


The noun revenge means gaining satisfaction by harming someone in return for a wrongdoing suffered at their hands. (The person seeking the revenge does not have to be the same person inflicted by the wrongdoing (even though it usually is) but is the person who gains satisfaction. Therefore, it is possible to acheive revenge (i.e., to gain satisfaction) by avenging on behalf of another.)

  • The best revenge is massive success. (Frank Sinatra)
  • Revenge is not always sweet. Once it is consummated, we feel inferior to our victim. (Emile M Cioran)

What are nouns? What are verbs? List of easily confused words

More Free Help...

All the lessons and tests on Grammar Monster are free. Here's some more free help:

Follow Us on Twitter Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Facebook
by Craig Shrives Follow us on Google+
mail tip Sign up for our daily tip emails
Chat about grammar Ask a grammar question
Search Search this site

Buy Some Help...

Too busy to read everything on Grammar Monster? Here are the paid services we recommend to learn grammar and to keep your writing error free:

Paste your text into Grammarly's online interface for corrections and recommendations. (Free trial available)

Press F2 while using Word, PowerPoint, etc., for corrections and recommendations. (Free trial available)

Send your text to a trained editor and grammar geek for checking. (Free trial available)

Learn English (or another language) with a state-of-the-art program. (Free trial available)

Buy Our Book...

Buy "Grammar Rules: Writing with Military Precision" by Craig Shrives (founder of Grammar Monster).

More info...