Student Dictionary

One entry found for vandal.
Main Entry: vanĚdal
Pronunciation: primarystressvan-dschwal
Function: noun
Etymology: from Latin Vandalii (plural) "The Vandals"; of Germanic origin
1 capitalized : a member of a Germanic people overrunning Gaul, Spain, and northern Africa in the fourth and fifth centuries A.D.
2 : a person who destroys or damages property on purpose
Word History The Vandals were a Germanic people who originally lived in northern Europe. In the fourth and fifth centuries, however, other barbarian peoples, especially the Huns, forced the Vandals to migrate westward and southward through what are now the lands of France and Spain. They finally settled in northern Africa. But as they migrated, the Vandals did not just pass through an area. They destroyed many cities and towns. They probably were no worse than other barbarians, but they became widely known for destruction. This probably happened because they invaded and looted the city of Rome in 455. They destroyed or ruined much of what they could not take with them. The Vandals were later defeated by the Roman army but their bad reputation caused their name to be used for "a deliberately destructive person."

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