Retribution vs. Revenge

By Jaxson

  • Revenge

    Revenge is a form of justice usually assumed to be enacted in the absence of the norms of formal law and jurisprudence. Often, revenge is defined as being a harmful action against a person or group in response to a grievance, be it real or perceived. It is used to punish a wrong by going outside the law. This is because the individual taking revenge feels as though the law will not do justice. Revenge is also known as retribution or vengeance; it may be characterized as a form of justice (not to be confused with retributive justice), an altruistic action which enforces societal or moral justice aside from the legal system. Francis Bacon described it as a kind of “wild justice” that “does… offend the law [and] putteth the law out of office”. Primitive justice or retributive justice is often differentiated from more formal and refined forms of justice such as distributive justice and divine judgment.

  • Retribution (noun)

    Punishment inflicted in the spirit of moral outrage or personal vengeance.

  • Revenge (noun)

    Any form of personal retaliatory action against an individual, institution, or group for some perceived harm or injustice.

    “Indifference is the sweetest revenge.”

    “When I left my wife, she tried to set fire to the house in revenge.”

  • Revenge (noun)

    A win by the previous loser.

  • Revenge (verb)

    To take one’s revenge (on or upon) someone.

  • Revenge (verb)

    To take revenge for (a particular harmful action), to avenge.

    “Arsenal revenged its loss to Manchester United last time with a 5-0 drubbing this time.”

  • Revenge (verb)

    To take vengeance; to revenge itself.


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