Catholic Dictionary




The act or intention of inflicting injury on someone, on one's own authority, to repay an offense committed. It is a manifestation of unjustifiable anger and is one of the most common human failings that takes on a variety of forms, from a momentary silence or frown to defamation of character or physical violence. As a form of sinful anger, it is an unruly desire for vengeance. The desire is immoderate if a person wants the undeserving to be punished, or the guilty to be punished excessively, or the punishment to be meted out in an unlawful manner or in order to vent one's own spite.