"vindicate by inflicting pain or evil on the wrongdoer," late 14c., from Anglo-French avenger, Old French avengier, from a- "to" (see ad-) + vengier "take revenge" (Modern French venger), from Latin vindicare "to claim, avenge, punish" (see vindication). See revenge (v.) for distinction of use. Related: Avenged; avenging. As a noun to go with it, 16c. English tried avenge, avengeance, avengement, avenging.