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English definition of “vigilante”

vigilante

noun [C] uk   /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
noun [U] uk   /-tɪ.zəm/ us    /-t̬ɪ.zəm/
Punishing and punishmentsPunishing by causing painHitting and beating
(Definition of vigilante from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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