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English definition of “vigilante”

vigilante

noun [C]     /ˌvɪdʒ.ɪˈlæn.ti/ US  /-ˈlæn.t̬i/
a person who tries in an unofficial way to prevent crime , or to catch and punish someone who has committed a crime , especially because they do not think that official organizations , such as the police , are controlling crime effectively . Vigilantes usually join together to form groups .Punishing and punishmentsPunishing by causing painHitting and beating vigilantism     /-tɪ.zəm/ US  /-t̬ɪ.zəm/ noun [U] Punishing and punishmentsPunishing by causing painHitting and beating
(Definition of vigilante noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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