exact » enact

Chiefly in:   enact revenge on , enact vengeance on

Variant(s):  enact revenge upon, enact vengeance upon

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • The Tigers took the game, 3-2, enacting revenge on a St. Joseph’s team that beat them just hours earlier in the first game, 1-0. (Daily Princetonian, May 2, 2002)
  • I personally own the GameCube version, and I’m definitely getting a kick out playing as Link, but if I owned an XBox, I think I would be spending most of my free time this semester enacting revenge upon the soul-warriors with the massively cool and powerful hell-born. (North Texas Daily, Aug. 29, 2003)
  • Temple (6-6) will not have to wait long for the opportunity to enact revenge on its city rival. (Temple University press release, Feb. 5, 2005)
  • Anti-death penalty activists argue that we, as a modern civilization, have progressed too far to still be enacting vengeance upon murderers by executing them. (Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star, May 24, 1999)
  • The characters with disabilities turned into a mob of murderers by the end of the film, as they slid through the mud and rain to enact vengeance on the nondisabled star. (Journal of Popular Film and Television, Winter 2002)
  • In “Delta Force 2,” Chuck Norris plays Colonel Scott McCoy, who is on a mission to enact vengeance on the world’s richest drug dealer, Ramon Cota, for killing his partner. (University of Wisconsin Badger Herald, Feb. 9, 2005)

As with exact » extract, eggcorn status is confirmed by the idiomatic use of the preposition _(up)on_, typical of _exact_ and other verbs such as _inflict_ and _wreak_, but not _enact_.

| link | entered by Ben Zimmer, 2005/02/19 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Paul Blackford , 2005/04/28 at 8:52 pm

    I remember first coming across this expression and assuming the ‘exacting’ part of ‘exacting revenge’ was adjectival i.e. the revenge was exacting. I reckon this is admissable, grammatically! though I’ve never come across it and never uttered it. Looks like i got away with it!

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