1

The poor murdered girl must be revenged.

I saw the sentence in the dictionary on my cellphone. I doubt the use of 'revenged' in that sentence and I think it should use 'avenged' instead because, as I know, 'revenge' can't take a direct object (as in "she vowed to revenge her brother's death."). But I might be wrong. Any thoughts?

Edit:

The reason why I was confused is that I found this Grammar Point in Oxford dictionary.

Grammar Point

avenge / revenge

Avenge is a verb; revenge is (usually) a noun.

People avenge something or avenge themselves on somebody:She vowed to avenge her brother’s death. He later avenged himself on his wife’s killers. You take revenge on a person.

In more formal or literary English, revenge can also be a verb. People revenge themselves on somebody or are revenged on them (with the same meaning):He was later revenged on his wife’s killers. You cannot revenge something: She vowed to revenge her brother’s death.

3

This usage is correct. Granted, "revenge" is the lesser used verb among the two.

The Oxford Dictionaries Online considers the verb form literary:

Inflict revenge on behalf of (someone else)

‘it's a pity he chose that way to revenge his sister’

It should be noted that "revenge" tends to mean, but not always, seeking retribution for oneself whereas "avenge" is about seeking justice on behalf of others.

  • So, the sentence "she vowed to revenge her brother's death." is also correct? – dan May 3 at 11:48
  • @dan It sure is. Funny you should ask, the next example on ODO is ‘her brother was slain, and she revenged his death’ – Eddie Kal May 3 at 11:50
  • Interesting, the Oxford dictionary on my phone says the sentence "she vowed to revenge her brother's death." is wrong. That's why I'm confused. – dan May 3 at 11:52
  • @dan This usage is considered somewhat dated. Check out Google Books examples and this. Most of them are over 100 years old. But some contemporary writers use it too. – Eddie Kal May 3 at 11:56
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    I found this in Oxford dictionary: "People avenge something or avenge themselves on somebody:She vowed to avenge her brother’s death. He later avenged himself on his wife’s killers. You take revenge on a person. In more formal or literary English, revenge can also be a verb. People revenge themselves on somebody or are revenged on them (with the same meaning):He was later revenged on his wife’s killers. You cannot revenge something:She vowed to revenge her brother’s death." oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/avenge – dan May 3 at 12:02

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