'Avenge' vs 'Revenge': What's the Difference?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on July 25, 2023

If you need an explanation of the difference between 'avenge' vs. 'revenge,' you came to the right place!

Here is the short answer:

  • 'Avenge' is a verb that means to act against someone for something they've done or to get even with someone. 
  • 'Revenge' is a verb synonym for avenge or a noun meaning a desire, act, or opportunity to gain satisfaction by getting even with someone. 

While the overview above will get you by, you can learn more by reading this entire post with definitions, usage examples, grammar tips, and pronunciations.

So, please stick around. I promise to make it interesting and educational.

What is the Difference Between 'Avenge' vs. 'Revenge?'

'Avenge' and 'revenge' are similar words in spelling, sound, and meaning. The difference is that you can use 'revenge' as a noun, like this:

  • I will get 'revenge' if it's the last thing I do.

However, you cannot use 'avenge' in the same sentences, for example:

  • I will get 'avenge' if it's the last thing I do.

To use 'avenge,' you must change it to avenged.

However, it would not make sense to say:

  • I am going to get revenged at any cost.

Revenged is not a word.

How to Use 'Avenge' vs. 'Revenge'

You know that you can use these terms interchangeably in the verb form. However, there are other times when you should not.

So, let's look at how to use each grammatically.

When to Use 'Avenge'

  • Use 'avenge' to say you will make someone pay for wronging you.

As an example, you could say:

I will not rest until I avenge what they did to our community.

  • Use 'avenge' as a verb to speak about action taken to right a wrong against you or someone else.

Here is an example:

When you avenge a sin against you, you make the person who committed it pay for their act.

When to Use 'Revenge'

  • Use 'revenge' as a noun when speaking about a desire, act, or opportunity to gain satisfaction through retaliation.

For example, you might hear people say:

The best revenge is to hold people accountable and move on with your life if they aren't willing to give you the respect you deserve.

  • Use 'revenge' as a reference for retaliation against you.

As an example, you could say:

I was nervous about bringing my concerns to the board of directors, but I never expected the revenge against me from the guilty parties to be so severe. 

Definition of 'Avenge': What Does 'Avenge' Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of 'avenge' is a verb that means:

  • To punish someone for a wrong they committed against you or others

It can also mean:

  • To gain a sense of restoration through the satisfaction of making someone pay when they hurt you

It is worth noting that the noun form of 'avenge' is an avenger.

Synonyms of 'Avenge'

  • Revenge
  • Punish
  • Scold
  • Chasten
  • Correct
  • Balance
  • Restore
  • Payback
  • Get even
  • Settle a score
  • Discipline
  • Fix

Definition of 'Revenge': What Does 'Revenge' Mean?

The definition of 'revenge' is a verb that means:

  • To avenge yourself or others through retaliation or punishment against the party responsible for wrongdoing

It can also mean:

  • To inflict an injury justified by the action of the party you are targeting

It can also be a noun meaning:

  • A desire, act, or opportunity to gain satisfaction through retaliation or retribution for a crime or act committed against you or others

Synonyms of 'Revenge'

  • Avenge
  • Retaliation
  • Payback
  • Reprisal
  • Counterattack
  • Restitution
  • Amends
  • Reparations
  • Correction
  • Punish
  • Retaliate
  • Venge
  • Chasten
  • Chastise
  • Compensate

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Avenge' vs. 'Revenge'

Regarding pronunciation, words that sound similar or have the same prefixes or suffixes often confuse people. However, learning correct pronunciation can help you remember which word is right.

It can also help you gain confidence to use words in writing or verbally.

So, here is a quick pronunciation guide you can follow: 

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'avenge' correctly:


  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'revenge':


Example Sentences Using 'Avenge' vs. 'Revenge'

Now, read these sample sentences to see the different ways to use 'avenge' vs. 'revenge.'


  • After hearing the not-guilty verdict, I knew the only way my sister would receive the justice she deserved. I would have to avenge her myself.
  • You may not be as satisfied as you imagine when you avenge yourself after suffering a substantial setback at someone else's hands, especially if they were your friend.
  • You have to avenge certain things to regain a sense of control over your life.
  • We are the Avengers. We will help you avenge your sister and the other victims of the heinous killer.


  • Surely you have heard the famous saying, 'Revenge is a dish best-served cold.'
  • Many people who seek revenge find it is better to spend their time focusing on themself.
  • Anytime you consider taking revenge on someone, you should give yourself time to calm down and think about the situation.
  • I always imagine feeling so satisfied after getting revenge, but I often do not feel great unless I show restraint and work out a solution with the person.


  • Revenge is ours!!! Before the night falls, we will avenge the crimes against us.
  • I know that you want to avenge your sister, but fear not. The taste of revenge will not elude you.

A Review of the Difference Between 'Avenge' vs. 'Revenge'

Congratulations, you are almost done reading this lesson! You should be an expert on the difference between 'avenge' vs. 'revenge,' but here is a quick recap of what you learned: 

  • 'Avenge' is a verb that means to settle the score against someone or make them pay for an injury they cause to you or others. 
  • 'Avenger' is the noun form of 'avenge,' but it is a person who avenges. 
  • 'Revenge' is a verb that means to retaliate against someone, but it can also be a noun. 
  • In the noun form, 'revenge' means the act, desire, or opportunity to seek satisfaction through receiving retribution or retaliating against an offender. 

Even for experienced writers and native English speakers, remembering the difference between words like 'avenge' and 'revenge' can be challenging. So, if you ever need to verify the difference between terms like these, you can check out the confusing words section here.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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