I don't understand this construction of revenge as a verb (example from google dictionary):

"I'll be revenged on the whole pack of you"

And also given in the Oxford Learner's Dictionary under "grammar point:"

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.

  • What don't you understand? "In formal English 'revenge' can be a verb" and there are some example of how to use it as a verb. If you don't understand it, don't use it (it is restricted to literary English so its not something you need to know)
    – James K
    Aug 24, 2021 at 21:48
  • I don't know how Oxford justifies calling "revenge" a verb in the sentence, "He was later revenged on his wife's killers". Who's the agent? Where would you put "by ..." in that sentence? It analyzes better as an adjective describing the husband as a person who has had his revenge.
    – gotube
    Aug 24, 2021 at 22:54
  • BTW, "to be avenged " is more often seen. Aug 25, 2021 at 1:20

1 Answer 1


In this usage, the verb 'to revenge' is a passive verb, with the object preposition 'on'. The meaning is something like, 'to give justice'.

I am revenged.

is the same as

I am given justice.

The preposition 'on' introduces the object of the verb.

This is construction is not used any more in conversation and even in literature is only seen in writing from past centuries.

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